A new trade association will be formed in the UK, mainly geared at bringing together leading businesses and experts committed to fostering a legally compliant, socially responsible and innovative CBD industry. The release of a report titled CBD in the UK: An Unregulated Marketplace led to extensive consultations with stakeholders over a six-month period, resulting in the launch of the trade association dubbed the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI).
The initiative is led by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) which has been reviewing the UK CBD industry for the past six months. The review entailed commissioning a comprehensive market sizing exercise, a product testing review and an opinion poll to find out what the public thinks about the CBD market and CBD-infused products.
“It is imperative for the industry to have a robust, standard analytical testing method,” says Dr. Parveen Bhatarah, a regulatory and compliance lead. He adds that “any company in this space will no doubt have faced a number of problems when analyzing cannabis products. If there is no standardization,” he says, “there is no recourse for companies or customers to question test results. The lack of standardization is hurting the industry’s ability to present cogent arguments on key matters such as defining ‘zero detectable THC’.” He adds that the CMC’s efforts in addressing this subject is essential for the industry to move forward.
The need for such an association is apparent. Over the years, CBD has made a name for itself as a potent natural medicine. The cannabis extract has been found effective against a variety of medical conditions ranging from chronic pain and high blood pressure to rare epilepsies in children. In fact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Okayed a CBD-based drug to help manage rare forms of epilepsy like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The steady increase in demand has led to a boom in supply of CBD products, mostly online, and most of it is unregulated.
According to a report commissioned by the Center for Medical Cannabis, the CBD market is currently one of the fastest growing wellbeing products in the UK. It is worth £300 million ($386 million), and at the current rate it will be worth almost £1bn ($1.29bn) by 2025. Dr. Andrew Yates, CMC Pharmacy Lead says that “UK legislation is ambiguous, outdated and fragmented. Quality is not defined, product composition is not guaranteed and poor marketing practices are all too common. UK consumers are being let down as a consequence.”
CBD industry experts are convinced that industry players, such as Hemptown USA and Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI), would be happy to see as many CBD trade associations in North America as possible so that the industry can be streamlined quickly.
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