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AUTHOR: Mark Taylor
PUBLISHER: CANNABIS LAW REPORT
Bulgaria has become the first European Union state to officially allow a CBD distribution company to sell openly on the market.
Kannaway, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana Inc, said it has been issued with a Free Sale Certificate to produce hemp-derived CBD products from Bulgaria’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.
The products “comply fully with relevant requirements of the Law on Foodstuffs of Republic of Bulgaria and of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of European Parliament and the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs,” according to documentation, and the compliance also extends to exports.
“We can not find news of any other country in the EU issuing a Free Certificate of Sale for CBD,” a Kannaway spokesperson told media.
The legal status of CBD is still unclear in the EU, as the substance is classed as a “novel food” under regulations, and is being sold without the correct authorization.
European authorities, having made the announcement, have shown little desire to enforce the law, however, and CBD remains on sale in shops across the continent.
Under the regulation, novel foods are defined as not “been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force.”
According to the paperwork, Bulgaria considers the CBD products it encompasses to be “food product(s) / food supplement(s) [and as such] is/are placed on the market in accordance with relevant legislation of EU and Republic of Bulgaria, and is/are subject to free-sale on Bulgarian market.”
The move means hemp-derived CBD products can be sold in Bulgaria as “traditional foods,” as defined by The European Industrial Hemp Association.
Kannaway’s vice president for its international segment, Alex Grapov, acknowledged the confusion in the EU, but said the firm is “excited to be on the forefront of companies who are working to dispel the myths and inconsistencies of the industry and expand access with lab-tested hemp-derived CBD products in Bulgaria and soon in other EU nations”.
Representatives from Kannaway lobbied Bulgarian government officials and regulatory bodies earlier this year, pointing to tax revenue and potential health benefits of allowing the products to be sold.
Medicinal cannabis is still on the agenda for the European Parliament, however business has slowed down due to the election period that has now ended. Earlier this year members approved a plan to commit more money and research into medicinal cannabis and set in motion a plan that would harmonize laws across the bloc related to studying the drug.
Recently, the Parliament also approved another series of proposals to increase the limits for THC in CBD products from 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent, to enter force in 2021.