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3rd June 2020

Will CBD Oil Be Legal in the UK After Brexit?

When it comes to UK CBD law, one question a lot of people have is whether CBD oil will still be legal in the UK after Brexit. As with many of the questions surrounding Brexit, it is hard to establish exactly what the approach will be to CBD regulation. However, here we will answer your question of whether CBD will still be legal in the UK and outline how Brexit could impact the CBD industry.

The information below was correct at the time of writing - 27th May 2020.

Will CBD oil still be legal?

Currently, the laws on CBD products in the UK largely follow guidelines set out by the European Union. These include the maximum legal THC content of 0.2% and CBD produced from a strain of hemp that has been approved by EU standards.

At the moment, CBD oil is still legal in the UK and it is likely that it will continue to be. Interestingly, although the UK is now officially departing from the EU, the UK Food Standards Authority (FSA) has listened to the guidance put in place by the European Commission and the EU Novel Foods Catalogue, which suggests that the safety of CBD products is still of paramount importance in the UK, regardless of whether or not we are linked to the EU.

The FSA has now set a deadline for businesses manufacturing CBD extracts and isolates. Companies must submit a ‘valid novel food authorisation application’ by the 31st March 2021.

Related article: Novel Food Regulations and CBD in the UK

It is highly unlikely that CBD oil and other products will become illegal in the UK since major efforts are being undertaken to ensure the industry can continue in a safe and regulated way. However, there is potential for the exact rules to diverge.

Will UK rules on CBD diverge from the EU?

Some have suggested that there is a potential for the UK to diverge on the exact regulations surrounding CBD, either to become stricter or more lax.

In the US, for example, the maximum THC content is set at 0.3%, while in Switzerland it is set at 1%. However, as the UK CBD industry, which is already booming, has been built around EU regulations and adherence to the 0.2% THC content and novel food regulations, you could also suggest that there is not much reason for the UK to now change laws surrounding CBD.

Another interesting point to note is that CBD products can currently be freely imported to the UK and exported to other EU nations because of the free movement of goods. The transition period is in place until 31st December but the situation on moving CBD products to and from the UK after this date may change, depending on the final agreement arranged between the UK and the EU.

Related article: Requirements for Importing CBD into the UK

Our current prediction is that the UK will continue to mirror the guidelines set out by the EU, at least for the time being. However, it’s important to note that Brexit does mean that in the future the UK could take a different approach to regulating CBD.

For more information on the rules and regulations surrounding CBD, both in the UK and worldwide, you can take a look at our CBD law section.

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