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Czech Republic Crackdown On Hemp CBD

Many products containing cannabidiol could soon disappear off shelves in the Czech Republic (aka Czechia), with the country’s government moving towards a CBD ban.

In an announcement released late last month, the State Agricultural and Food Inspection (SZPI) is gearing up to prohibit marketing of cannabidiol (CBD) along with other cannabinoids obtained from hemp, and products containing these substances.

Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula said (translated):

“Food safety is essential to me. I cannot accept that food is placed on the market, which the European Food Safety Authority cannot state whether it is safe.

Minister Nekula is likely referring to a statement from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in late February this year indicating the European Commission considers cannabidiol a novel food and as such can’t be on the market within the European Union, or used in foods until products have been authorised and included in the Union list of authorised novel foods.

At that point, the Commission has received over 190 applications for the authorisation of CBD and other hemp derived products containing cannabinoids under the Novel Food Regulation.

“Of these applications, so far 20 have been considered by the Commission to be valid and are currently being evaluated by EFSA,” it states.

With regard to Minister Nekula’s concerns about safety, the EFSA noted in the same statement:

“EFSA identified several potential hazards and determined that many data gaps relating to possible health effects need to be filled before the evaluations of the safety of CBD and hemp extracts can progress.”

It’s not clear when the Czechia CBD ban will come into force. Minister Nekula acknowledged the ban would have some impacts on the Czech Republic’s food industry, but noted a number of companies had already fulfilled their obligations.

Some see this move as being at loggerheads with potential adult-use legalization of cannabis in the Republic. Commenting on the situation, Johnny Green, Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference, stated:

“It is clear that much of the rhetoric coming out of the Czech Republic right now seems to be conflicting. Ultimately, the Czech Republic needs what every other country in Europe needs – a comprehensive national cannabis policy that is based on reason, logic, compassion, and sensibility.”

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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