EC vs CBD. The European Commission (EC) has just taken a regulatory position on CBD that is not just scientifically ignorant, but based on a massive lack of understanding about what cannabinoids actually are
A battle royal has just broken out in Europe on the regulatory front. As DAZ is reporting, the European Commission has decided preparations containing CBD are not actually “Novel” but “Narcotic.”
Welcome to the down-the-rabbit hole world of bureaucreatic mish mash, Alice.
This is also an argument that the EC is about to lose. In court, should those in a position to bring the suit do so asap.
There is no scientific, medical or other reason for this decision. There are also large policy ones that this is going to impede or hurt, frankly, not only making such announcements stupid, but deliberately so. If not immoral on a level that is hard to understand given what is stake.
A Brief Summary of the Fight So Far
Apart from the regulatory battle already looming about recreational reform, the cynical discussions so far on Novel Food have set up this bizarre and soon to be challenged ruling by a body that has zero clue apparently about cannabinoids, individually or collectively.
The idea that a plant and its extracts that have been cultivated and used for thousands of years in Europe and for all sorts of purposes is in any way “Novel,” is an idea that surely came out of the brains of those who have never encountered it before. In or outside the European Union. For those realms of McKinsey consultants, government bureaucrats, and in general highly formally educated ignorants who could go down this path with a straight face usually billing large invoices along the way, speaks to the massive consulting fees at stake not to mention pig-headed greediness.
The extraction discussion is another topic.
Regardless, the entire framing of the issue to date, has been hinky – on the side of pushing the debate into a world of fundraising to do something, without understanding that this was the wrong road to take in the first place.
Why EU Bio Fits The Canna Industry Better
In fact, cannabis as a plant species is more like tomatoes meets superfoods from every aspect of its cultivation to downstream use. How different cannabinoids and essential oils are extracted is absolutely a matter for regulation, but those fall under an existing schemata that is also being revised (although this too is hardly uncontroversial to European farmers who face the same with little understanding how to raise capital to renovate farms and greenhouse structures rapidly being made obsolete by the same). Much less to do so in a way that does not cause a massive spike in the prices of certain kinds of food. Namely all that is grown in a greenhouse, and of any variety.
For this reason, this is not only a profoundly wrongheaded decision by the EC, but a deeply immoral one, that could potentially already be challenged legally at the EU level. See the recent contretemps in France over the refusal to ban imported CBD products. It also seems designed deliberately to slow down the entire discussion of recreational reform in Europe.
What it is about to do, sadly, is actually slow down the entire cannabis discussion.
CBD, along with many of the other cannabinoids extracted from the plant is absolutely not a “narcotic.” Even according to the ever hippy dippy American Drug Enforcement Agency, aka DEA, the term “narcotic is derived from Greek. A narcotic is not necessarily opioid based, but rather is a substance that “dulls” the senses.
That is not even an accurate description of THC for patients at least. But regardless here we are.
Now what is the industry going to do about it?
It is the Science Stupid
The lack of informed debate, much less decision-making at the EU level is about to get a challenge from several sources.
- CBD is NOT a narcotic.
- Cannabis is NOT a novel plant.
- Extraction and processing issues are absolutely important but they already fall under existing regulations (see EU Bio).
- The WHO is now going to weigh in on the topic. This could go several ways. They could decide to reschedule CBD as opposed to removing it from the international drug schedules.
Stay tuned. Especially to what happens to the French lawsuit.