The CBD craze is about to roll over Europe
While CBD seems to be everywhere and do everything in North America, from treating anxiety disorders in pets to putting the glow back in your complexion, in Europe, it is just hitting the radar.
That’s probably because the legal framework in Europe surrounding CBD is so confusing. Each country in the European Union (EU) has different laws for CBD, despite the fact that they share the EU umbrella. Strain Insider has reported that the regulations between countries can be tricky.
Those regulatory challenges are holding back cannabis and CBD companies from making major inroads in the market. “Europe is difficult because you need to look at things on a country-by-country basis. What’s holding back the industry is the fragmentation. We are talking with major retailers. More regulatory clarity will fuel the growth of this industry,” says Frederik Hendriksen of Mile High Labs, a U.S. CBD extractor company.
The research firm Brightfield is predicting that by 2023, the market for CBD in Europe will grow over 400 per cent. In 2018, the market in Europe was worth an estimated $318 million. The largest markets for CBD in Europe are the United Kingdom and Austria, with Switzerland and Spain promising emerging markets.
Because of this, there is a very real “grey market” in Europe, and challenges around safe, compliant CBD product. A new regulation in the food industry has added to the confusion. The ruling basically states that foods and substances that were not commonly used in the EU prior to 1997 need approval before they can be legally sold. This means that CBD, which is only gaining worldwide acclaim in recent years, needs to jump through a number of legal hoops before it can be marketed and sold.
In Austria, regulators have asked that pharmacies stop selling CBD products. Ireland is also asking that stores stop stocking CBD products as well.
European retailers are also struggling under the crushing and confusing regulatory framework for CBD. Antonin Cohen, founder and CEO of Harmony, a CBD brand in Europe, said at a recent industry gathering that Europe could use some assistance from North American cannabis experts and investors.
“If we don’t get European entrepreneurs and investors together, Europe will be late to the party. Let’s learn from the U.S. and team up to develop a sustainable market.”
Source: 420 Intel – Europe