Sativa Wellness Group Inc (LON:SWEL) has highlighted what it said is “regulatory progress” for cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) in the European Union, the United States and at the United Nations.
In the EU, the Aquis-listed cannabis wellness firm said the European Commission (EC), the bloc’s executive branch, has concluded that CBD is not considered to be a drug within the meaning of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, following the recent ruling from the EU's highest court. As a consequence, the EC has confirmed that CBD qualifies as a food, and is therefore subject to EU law on the free movement of goods among member states.
Sativa said that following the decision the European Food Safety Authority (EU FSA) has resumed the reviewing of novel food authorisation applications for CBD products.
The company, which operates CBD extraction and production in the UK and Europe, welcomed the decision and said it intends to submit its novel food dossier that is being prepared for the UK Food Standards Agency (UK FSA) in parallel to the EU FSA, which it said will be a “seamless process” as the submission criteria for the two agencies are aligned.
Meanwhile, Sativa said the UN has considered a number of recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reclassify cannabis and its derivatives and recently voted in favour of removing cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 UN Single Convention, the category of the world's most dangerous drugs.
The firm said the decision, whilst having no immediate effect on local government classification at a country level, “opens the door to recognising the medicinal and therapeutic potential of cannabis, and paves the way for additional scientific research” such as its own research partnership with King's College London into the efficacy of different cannabinoids in treating respiratory conditions.
In the US, Sativa said the House of Representatives of the US Congress recently passed a federal bill to decriminalise cannabis at the national level by removing the drug from the list of federally controlled substances, which it said also clears the way to erase certain federal convictions.
The company said the bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by the president, however, if passed the bill will “bridge the gap between state and federal legislation, and facilitate the emerging industry and access to medicinal cannabis across the US”.
"Sativa Wellness welcomes the clarity that these regulatory updates bring to the CBD wellness and medicinal cannabis industry in Europe, the US and globally. We believe that a well-regulated cannabis sector will lead to consumers benefitting from safe, compliant and quality products, such as our Goodbody CBD brands, and opens the pathway for patients to benefit from further research into the efficacy of medicinal cannabis. This news will allow us to continue with our European expansion plans, and may facilitate the opening up of new markets in the future", Sativa chief executive Henry Lees-Buckley said in a statement.