As far as CBD businesses go, the numbers are only going up. Infused foods, massages, and many more businesses revolving around CBD, or cannabidiol products, are popping up on street corners more than ever. But even with this rapid growth in the market, so too are the legal issues.
Since regulation and red-tape are preventing such ease with selling the product, small businesses (and large) are being penalized or crippled with the legality behind the product.
Such issues can be anywhere from canceled payment processing through banking services all the way to complete shutdowns and legal fees costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the US, CBD products are not regulated or monitored, so there is no official way for governing agencies to know if the product is satisfying all legal limits of THC (less than .3%). Because of this, police forces are within their rights to shut down such sales, and is why banking services try to stay away from this market.
Although this is for the US, there are similar problems in the UK, and one business called “Canna Kitchen” can vouch for this.
After Sam Evolution, the founder of Canna Kitchen, had gone to several governing agencies for the permission to sell CBD infused foods, he was given the thumbs up from both the police as well as the UK Trading Standards Agency. Not even a year later, the police had raided them, leaving their business financially struck as well as a loss of 15 staff members.
“On 1 July 2018 we contacted the Met police via email in an attempt to verify the official UK legal position on the sale of CBD hemp flower. Their response [in the email] was, ‘As long as you have made reasonable inquiries and it has been said that they are legal, then there is no criminal offense.’ We made this inquiry to ensure that we were always operating well within the law.”
“We also made a separate inquiry to trading standards, who told us that as far as they could tell, there are no current legal issues posted by the sale of hemp-derived CBD products. It is clear CBD is not a controlled substance. It is freely available from many large high-street chains.”
Concerns are showing for the other entrepreneurs who wish to enter this market. Not only could it risk in years of damage, but could prevent such practices forever. In the meantime, the police are testing the products to conclude if they are compliant with UK laws.
“I have a seven-month-old baby and a wife on maternity leave, so financially this has not been a great time to close my business. We fully cooperated with the authorities and even asked for advice from them in case there was anything we should remove from our store. The only conclusion I can come to is that I feel we have been targeted by the police as a test case.”