Europe’s CBD and hemp markets are brave new worlds

Europe’s CBD and hemp markets are brave new worlds

While Americans surge into the hemp agriculture trade in wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, Europe has its own relationship with the cannabis plant — one marked by excitement and confusion.

Across the Atlantic, a recent expo in Berlin showcased some of the most promising and newfangled happenings and offerings in the European CBD scene. Still, Europe’s diversity of jurisdictions offer a spider’s web of rules which put America’s Food and Drug Administration confusion to shame.

If you haven’t caught up on how CBD and hemp are fairing among American farmers, check out this link from this week on updates from farmers across the continent. [1]

In the European Union, meanwhile, CBD products are classified as “unauthorised Novel Foods” and enforcement measures have varied across EU and former British commonwealth countries.

Still, the Brightfield Group projects that the value of the European market for CBD could reach $1.7 billion by 2023. [3]

In the meantime, companies at the Berlin expo had a fresh set of challenges, with conflicts over the crops and extracts in Ireland and Bulgaria, where seizures and draconian regulations of the substance reign. [3]

Vice recently wrote a guide to the recent London CBD exposition, which featured 80 hemp vendors showing scores of products. [2]

In that dispatch, Niloufar Haidari gives readers an account of her experiences at Europe CBD Expo and the vendors and experts she met there.

You’ll find a list of products in Europe worth trying, plus useful information for the new CBD user more generally. [2]

Still, the licensure and regulatory burdens, like in the U.S., have their victims.

The BBC recently reported that one of the largest UK hemp growers, Hempen, had its license to grow hemp revoked and they were told by the Home Office that their crops would be seized or destroyed if they didn’t get rid of them immediately. [4]

Specifically, Hempen was told that their license only applied to hemp seed crops and not to production for use in CBD products.

Hempen, which is a not-for-profit, said that the misunderstanding about their license was due to unclarity at the government, but if the crop was destroyed they would be in the red £200,000 in lost sales of CBD. [4]

The farm started the destruction of its crops Monday, according to the BBC.

The news about Hempen’s lost crops comes the same week as the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, began his tenure. Johnson’s promise to force the UK out of the European Union could lead to new rules on hemp and CBD for Britain, though the political practicality of this measure is disputed.