UK’s $850 million CBD market implementation of policy is off the rails, according to trade group

Challenges in the CBD Market of UK

The implementation of legal and regulatory frameworks in the UK’s $850 million (£690 million/€798 million) CBD market is in disarray, as claimed by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) in a new white paper. As the CBD market continues to grow, these challenges pose a threat to both consumers and businesses across the UK. The ambiguity and slow pace of regulatory measures are causing confusion and disarray.

ACI is calling for immediate action to address the existing ambiguities and implement specific provisions into the law by April 2024.

Approved Daily Intake

The paper addresses the controversial “approved daily intake” (ADI) of CBD, which has been a point of contention since the Advisory Council on The Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) issued updated regulations in October. The ACMD recommended an ADI of 10 milligrams per day for healthy adults, which many in the industry have criticized as a limit that could severely impact consumers and the CBD market in the UK.

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) has proposed a daily CBD dosage of 17.5mg to the European Food Safety Authority, indicating a discrepancy in the recommended daily intake among key industry stakeholders.

Threat to Market

Stakeholders have voiced their concerns about the impact of the 10-milligram limit on the entire UK CBD industry. This limit not only creates confusion among consumers but also threatens to undermine investor confidence. ACI has emphasized the need for further evaluation of the data underpinning consumption recommendations and regular updates regarding ADI to be made available to the public. The industry believes that the Home Office should obtain ministerial approval to implement an approved daily intake for CBD as soon as possible.

Max THC Levels

The Home Office’s acceptance of the recommendation to allow CBD ingestibles to contain up to 50 micrograms of controlled cannabinoids per unit of consumption has been seen as a step in the right direction. However, ACI has highlighted the need to relate this limit to a maximum total daily intake for controlled cannabinoids, rather than merely per serving or unit of consumption.

Furthermore, the evaluation of CBD products under rules for new or “novel” foods by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been met with challenges, as the agency was inundated with applications in early 2022. This backlog has stalled the approval process for many CBD products, causing further uncertainty in the market.


The challenges facing the implementation of CBD policy in the UK’s market highlight the need for cohesive and coordinated regulatory measures to ensure the safety of consumers and the growth of the industry. As stakeholders in the CBD market continue to navigate through these obstacles, clear and efficient regulatory guidelines will be essential for the future development of the industry.

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