Businesses must be aware of legalities when selling hemp food products – FSAI –

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The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) will continues its series of free meetings for small businesses next week with a webinar on the legal position of hemp products in Ireland.

This latest ‘Breakfast Bite’ event on Thursday, June 24, will focus on individuals or food businesses interested in or already selling cannabidiol (CBD) products in Ireland.

The FSAI said that businesses should make themselves aware of the legal situation with respect to the sale of cannabis/hemp products and synthetic cannabinoids in Ireland.

Legal situation governing products

“CBD products are on sale in many outlets in Ireland and are also marketed locally and online by private individuals,” the FSAI said.

“Many of the CBD products on sale in Ireland are novel foods and should not be on the market without prior novel food authorisation.

“Many of the products on sale contain the psychotropic narcotic THC which is a contaminant when present in food and can be unsafe to consume depending on the levels present.

“THC is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and possession is not legal without a ministerial licence.”

In this short webinar, Dr. Pat O’Mahony of the FSAI will discuss the legal situation governing the sale of cannabis/hemp products as food in the EU and specifically in Ireland.

To help businesses and individuals comply with the legal requirements in this growing area of food interest, there will be an opportunity to ask Dr. O’Mahony questions at the end of his presentation.

This free event will be held online and will last 40 minutes.

‘Obstacles in the way’ of hemp sector development

Speaking recently, Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture Matt Carthy said that the hemp sector, if developed, could deliver a viable extra income source for farmers while also providing an environmental benefit.

However, the government appears “to be placing obstacles in the way of the development of this sector”, rather than “delivering a roadmap for this industry based on the reduction of red tape and through training for interested farmers”.

At a time when many farming sectors “have faced years of unsustainably low incomes”, options to assist farmers to remain on their farms must be explored, according to deputy Carthy.

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