China CBD ban: Retailers ‘encouraged’ to pull products off shelves as regulators

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The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) recently published the finalised list of prohibited ingredients for cosmetics.

Among the 24 newly prohibited ingredients were cannabidiol (CBD), cannabis sativa fruit, cannabis sativa seed oil and cannabis sativa leaf extract. This formalises a draft proposed in March​ to ban cannabis-based cosmetics in China.

The NMPA stated that cosmetic companies were not allowed to produce or import products containing prohibited ingredients stipulated in the new inventories from May 28.

While cosmetics with cannabis that have been produced or imported before May 28, 2021, can continue to be sold in China for now, retailers are recommended to take them off shelves.

“China NMPA will issue transitional measures granting a deadline for their sales. However, retailers are encouraged to pull CBD cosmetics off the shelves,” ​said Hedy He, regulatory analyst, Chemlinked.

End of the road?

This crackdown on cannabis cosmetics deals a huge blow to the emerging market for CBD beauty.

In the past three years, more and more beauty products with cannabis ingredients like CBD have emerged in China.

According to NMPA, there were only 18 CBD cosmetics filed before 2019. This increased to 413 and 1783 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

He told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that this increase also resulted in growing distrust of CBD cosmetics among the authorities.

“At the beginning of 2021, Quanzhou Customs seized three bottles of CBD essential oils containing THC in imported products suspected of drug smuggling, which further undermined the trust of the regulatory authorities in CBD cosmetics.”

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