THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE MISUSE OF DRUGS CONFIRMS WHAT WE AT THE CANNA CONSULTANTS HAVE ALWAYS STATED:
THERE IS CURRENTLY NO DEFINED CONTAMINANT LEVEL FOR CONTROLLED CANNABINOIDS IN CBD PRODUCTS
(BUT THEY NOW RECOMMENDED ONE)
A year ago, on 11th January 2021, we informed you that there was about to be some progress on a topic that we had been championing for a long period – the defining of a Contaminant level for Controlled cannabinoids in CBD Products (available here).
On 25th January 2021 a latter from Kit Malthouse, Minister for Crime and Policing, was published in which he sought the advice of the ACMD.
We followed up with an explanation as to the mechanics of the means by which a Government changes Drugs Policy (available here).
If you were to review our Position Papers from 2019 onwards you would find that we have previously expressed ourselves as follows (emphasis now added):
- What level of THC is “detectable” for the purposes of examination and testing and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, because in principle virtually everything is detectable if your equipment is sufficiently capable, and culpability for criminal liability should not rest with who has the best/newest/most capable testing machine?
- The regulatory authorities in the UK have not yet provided any advice on what is a “detectable” level of THC. The government needs to engage with the industry in order to help those market participants who are willing to truly engage with them to better define what conduct and product formulae are acceptable, equally, the industry needs to take responsibility for complying with the law.
- As a means of progress we encourage the government, through the auspices of the FSA and Home Office, to define what an acceptable detectable level of THC in products is, pursuant to which manufacturers will then have a maximum tolerance to remain within.
- We know that due to the feeding of hemp biomass to cattle we now have what is, unless the practice is prohibited, an effectively permanent contaminant level of THC within milk and the onward food-chain. Therefore, it would seem that an argument that there can be no acceptable level of THC contamination in food products, would be an academic one.
- If that is correct, then one could suggest that a sensible approach would be to then define what an acceptable level of controlled cannabinoid presence (THC/CBN) could be in foodstuffs generally, or in cannabis-derived products specifically.
- Given that no-one seriously believes that individuals consume cannabinoid products which contain technically measurable, but pharmaceutically insignificant amounts of controlled cannabinoids (THC/CBN) in order to achieve psychoactive results, then one could quite properly define them as “residues” of the natural origin of the end product or undesired “contaminants” to that product.
- To do so would not offend food law and regulation and if agreement could be found for the level at which acceptability was defined, then it is unlikely to have unintended consequences for those government departments charged with the control and eradication of narcotic drugs. The question within this debate would be – what is an “acceptable” level below which the presence of “controlled cannabinoids” could be deemed an acceptable contaminant?
The Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has now answered the questions asked of it, but the industry does not have the answer to all of the questions that it has – mainly because the real nub now concerns the interaction between Drugs Policy and Abuse Liability. Read on to understand the distinction…