European Union taps the brakes on CBD foods and supplements

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European Union regulators are hitting the pause button on plans to allow CBD to be sold over the counter and added to foods and dietary supplements.

The EU’s European Food Safety Authority said this week that it doesn’t have enough data to give an opinion on whether CBD is safe for human consumption.

“There is insufficient data on the effect of CBD on the liver, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, nervous system and on people’s psychological well-being,” the health agency announced.

The agency had been reviewing more than a dozen applications from companies seeking to sell CBD products in EU-member states without a prescription. The delay means those companies have no idea if or when they’ll be able to go to market.

The EU scheduled a June 28 public meeting on CBD and what regulators want to know about it. But officials gave no indication how long it might take to find the data they seek.

Hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD, were added to the EU’s Novel Foods Catalogue in January 2019, which means that CBD foods and supplements must be evaluated for consumer safety before being legally sold.

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The EU delay comes after similar lags in the United Kingdom, a former EU member that said after leaving the union that it would evaluate the safety of CBD products on its own.

That process has dragged on for years, prompting a group of Parliament members to recommend this week that the U.K. overhaul its process for evaluating CBD products.