New regulations may take the shine off CBD business


With all the buzz around its possible health benefits, businesses might see CBD as a lucrative opportunity – but the global market for it is complex, and changes in CBD’s legal situation may create challenges for business, experts at CBD-Intel have warned.

The legal status of CBD varies wildly across the globe. In some countries it may be subject to strict regulation, while in others it may even be banned outright.

For this reason, those hoping to carve a future in the business would be well advised to keep on top of developments in this emerging and rapidly changing market.

Market openings, legal uncertainty

CBD-Intel reported recently on the Senate version of the US Farm Bill, which would have failed legalise the farming of low-THC cannabis strains at federal level. This would potentially commoditise CBD – driving down the price, while opening up market opportunities to growers and producers.

In Canada, the cannabis plant and some of its by-products, including CBD, were legalised on 17th October 2018, opening the door to a whole new market. But sale, access and possession of cannabis products – including CBD – will now be subject to a new strict regulatory framework.

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    CBD products will for now be regulated exactly like any other cannabis product. However, the Canadian authorities may in due course loosen the cords for “less potent” cannabis products, including CBD products.

    Perils of the grey area

    Meanwhile, in Europe too the outlook is varied and uncertain.

    The market is blooming in Switzerland, where a great range of CBD products are offered. Vape stores there are taking a back seat and head shops taking the lead because CBD in e-liquids is prohibited in concentrations thought to have “pharmacologically active” properties.

    In neighbouring France, a variety of CBD products appeared on the market last year. However – in a clear example of the way a legal grey area can be interpreted one way by would-be businesses and another way entirely by the authorities – a number of stores have been raided by police, supposed “narcotic products” seized, and shop managers taken into custody.


    About CBD-Intel: CBD-Intel provides impartial, independent and premium market and regulatory analysis, legal tracking, and quantitative data for the cannabidiol (CBD) sectors. We provide our clients with the tools to navigate this fast-moving sector, tailor their business strategy, optimise resources and make informed decisions.

    For further information or comment, please contact us.

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