Bulgaria becomes first EU country to open market to CBD

Bulgaria becomes first EU country to open market to CBD

CBD continues to be a hot topic this week with the news that Bulgaria have opened their marketplace entirely to cannabidiol (CBD) products. This makes Bulgaria the first EU country to openly legitimise CBD sales.

The first Free Certificate of Sale for CBD

A series of recent reports have confirmed that Bulgaria’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, have issued a “Certificate of Free Sale” for a series of CBD products.

The certificate of sale in question was issued to Kannaway, and outlines that they must “comply fully with relevant requirements of the Law on Foodstuffs of Republic of Bulgaria and of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of European Parliament and the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs.”

In layman’s terms this certification acts as evidence that the CBD products can legally be sold and distributed freely in the open market without restriction. It’s a firm sign of approval by Bulgaria’s regulatory authorities that sets a precedent for how CBD can be traded, especially since it also approves CBD for export.

The reports are based on research provided by Kannaway who stated: “We can not find news of any other country in the EU issuing a Free Certificate of Sale for CBD”. Whether or not this is definitively the first Certificate of Free Sale issued has not been verified by exterior sources, but it certainly raises interesting questions.

What's changed?

Depending on where you’re based you might be confused that this law change has set a new precedent, since CBD is sold throughout Europe in stores large and small. However, this doesn’t reflect the often confusing categorisation laws surrounding how CBD can be sold.

Typically CBD oils are sold as food supplements or novel foods (any food item that doesn’t have a longstanding history of consumption) restricting the means of recommended ingestion and the modes of sale. The Bulgarian law shift means that such restrictions would be lifted.

The specific permit issued in Bulgaria outlines the CBD products covered:

Food product(s) / food supplement(s) [and as such] is/are placed on the market in accordance with relevant legislation of EU and Republic of Bulgaria, and is/are subject to free-sale on Bulgarian market.

Again, in layman’s terms this means that hemp-derived CBD products would fall under the traditional food category, freeing them from much of the sales issues faced previously. If nothing else, this will help provide some clarity to the muddled state of EU legislation where CBD often falls between categories.

Regardless, the fallout from this is sure to be large. The Bulgarian government has clearly recognised the potential benefit to the economy of being at the forefront of the ever-expanding hemp industry, both through greater taxation and greater jobs. Likewise, otherwise EU countries may now feel a greater pressure to follow suit.

Learning more

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