Cannabidiol (CBD) is not only on everyone’s lips, but is also increasingly the focus of legislators, prosecutors and police authorities. At the end of last year, Austrian CBD dealers and producers were in turmoil and various dealers from Germany and Austria also registered with the German Hemp Association. On 9 December 2018, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection (BMASGK) published a press release on the “Sales ban of CBD-containing foods and cosmetics”. With this order, Austria implements the EU Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of 25 November 2015, the so-called “Novel Food” Regulation. In other words: The Regulation is basically nothing new, only the ordered implementation in Austria is new.What is the situation in Germany?
In Germany, the EU Regulation on Novel Foods already came into force in January 2018. In contrast to the Austrian government, the German government did not make a concrete statement on the subject of hemp and CBD. In general, food and dietary supplements are not considered novel foods if they have already been consumed to a significant extent in the EU before 15 May 1997. Therefore hemp flowers are not covered by the “Novel Food” regulation, because hemp was already on the menu in the EU before the deadline. Thus hemp foods are not considered as so-called “Novel Food” if they contain CBD by nature, e.g. cookies with hemp seeds. The situation is different for CBDs added subsequently. If CBD is extracted and then subsequently added to foods, dietary supplements or cosmetics, the product must be approved as “Novel Food”.
For interested parties: Pure CBD extracts are only subject to the Novel Food Regulation if they are obtained by non-traditional methods. Which extraction methods result in a product falling under the Novel Food Regulation is regulated in the EU Directive on the manufacture of foodstuffs. Further information, for example on the registration of novel foods, is provided by the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The issue of CBD flower sales remains tricky. The flowers are in no way covered by the Novel Food Regulation, but other laws apply: in Austria the Tobacco Regulation, in Germany the BtMG. Annex 1 BtMG lists the prohibited substances:Source: hanfverband.de