18-2-2020 The problems with selling CBD oil now extend to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). They recently released an announcement that they were supporting the EU decision to treat CBD oil as a novel food. In effect the announcement means that it will be illegal to sell CBD oil after 31st March 2021 unless the manufacturer has applied for authorisation to sell CBD as a novel food. Typically the problems with obtaining authorisation for novel foods link to human safety issues and the FSA has already cited some very high dose animal studies as causing it concerns. The CTAUK have released this statement regarding the FSA announcement. A useful general review of the current threats to selling CBD oil, linked to dubious safety claims can be found on the Alliance for Natural Health Website
2018 Update: A lot of problems selling CBD oil. Not only the MHRA making it difficult but also the Home Office. We've joined the Cannabis Trade Association (CTAUK) who are making a good job of a difficult situation. Because Google are running scared of the regulators, on this site we are selling CBD oil as "Organic Hemp Extract" and we've started a new website www.organic-cbd-oil.co.uk which sells organic CBD oil under its real name! If you want more information about CBD oil try this link.
2016 Update: We've learnt how to get around the MHRA by selling our products as food supplements, which are regulated by the FSA not the MHRA. The next issue is the threat to selling organic products and herbal products from Brexit - our organic certifier, the Soil Association is regulated by the EU and we are concerned that unless there is a very good post-Brexit deal this could affect both our sourcing of herbs and our sales to the continent. Strangely, having fought the EU over the THMPD, in the end we now feel we know where with the EU regulations and worry that any changes imposed by the MHRA without EU over-arching regulation, will make things worse.
2015 final message on EU THMPD and MHRA pharmacists... We've got sore heads from the brick wall of MHRA gold plated regulations! So we have given up campaigning independently!
19th February 2015 Threat to botanical food supplements from the EU attacking less common herbs and other foods as "Novel Foods" please sign the petition
1st May 2014 - We have removed from direct sale to UK customers Black cohosh and Saw Palmetto
Last few months for some Organic Herbal Remedies - November 2013
The Bad News: The MHRA has announced it will prevent the further sale of unlicensed stocks of herbal medicines from 1st May 2014. That means from that date you will no longer be able to buy organic Black cohosh, St John's Wort and Saw Palmetto. Other herbs remain under threat as the MHRA refuses to publish a definitive list of what herbs can legally be sold as botanical food supplements.
The Good News: We bought stocks with 5 year shelf life in 2011 in an attempt to maintain the supply of organic herbals for as long as possible. So we bought stocks to last until 2016. Now we have to try and sell through those stocks by end April 2014 - so we will be running some big discounts!
Oxford Campaign to Protect Herbal Medicine - November 2013
As well as destroying retail sales of herbal remedies the government has failed to deliver on promises to regulate herbalists. The Oxford Campaign to Protect Herbal Medicine is lobbying to do just that
MHRA Ignore Red Tape Challenge - October 2013
We had hoped that the MHRA would use the Government's Red Tape Challenge to reduce the unnecessary bureaucracy and expense linked to the THMPD legislation. The way that the MHRA has interpreted the legislation places huge costs on those companies trying to get licences, meaning that many companies have pulled out of herbal remedies or diversified into food supplements or beauty products and dropped products that require licenses, seriously limiting consumer choice. The bureaucracy, in particular around the requirement for stability tests, adds nothing to safety but takes a pharmaceutical approach to herbal medicine. It's wasteful and only those with a background in big Pharma could possibly justify it.
We were very disappointed to learn that the MHRA had quietly ignored the Red Tape Challenge and made no changes of any real help to the industry or the consumer. The feedback to the herbal remedies section of the Red Tape Challenge website was overwhelmingly in favour of a reduction in red tape Of course while the Red Tape Challenge was launched with huge fanfare, the MHRA's response was sneaked through with no admittance that they were not prepared to cut back on the unnecessary bureaucracy. The MHRA Turkey's did not vote for Christmas! But Government should not raise the hopes of industry and consumers and then allow the MHRA to ignore a well intentioned policy.
Why not write to your MP or contact the Red Tape Challenge asking them to review the MHRA's decision to ignore the key bureaucratic problems with the THMPD
MHRA try to Move the Goalposts - July 2013
The latest crazy MHRA proposal is that stocks of unlicensed herbal remedies will not be allowed to be sold after 31st December 2013.
We (and other companies) have stocks that could last another two years or so, that will have to be destroyed or sold to overseas customers if this proposal is implemented. We bought those stocks in good faith based on the MHRA's own regulations at the time.
Tinctures have always been sold with five year shelf lives. They are basically phytochemicals (herbal extracts) preserved in alcohol. In fact their shelf life is probably much more than five years. The herbal products that are allowed to be sold as food supplements continue to be sold with five year shelf lives.
The MHRA generally only give a two year shelf life to licensed products and are using this fact as their reason for wanting to prevent the continued sale of unlicensed products. That is not based on any known determination that tinctures deteriorate after two years but instead on standard working practices within the pharmaceutical industry.
If the MHRA were responsible for drink sales they would prevent the sale of alcoholic drinks such as whisky and brandy older than two years due to the suspicion of deterioration of efficacy!
We are currently awaiting their final determination on this proposal. Given their lack of flexibility on other issues we do not hold out much hope.
BE PREPARED - THERE MAY BE NO ORGANIC VERSIONS OF MANY HERBAL REMEDIES FROM JANUARY 2014
A New Chance to Save Herbal Medicine - April 2012
The Cabinet Office Red Tape Challenge presents an amazing opportunity to scrap the dreaded European THMPD regulations and get the pharmacists out of herbal medicine.
The European THMPD regulations are destroying herbal medicine please help to get the pharmacists out of Herbal Medicine.