I was asked recently if it was OK to sell cannabis based products in a nightclub.
I raised an eyebrow.
The client quickly clarified that they meant cannabidiol (CBD) oil infused products.
I breathed a sigh of relief, and said, yes, that is (legally) feasible.
You may not have noticed it, but there has been a real surge in the number of CBD oil products appearing on the High Street and online, from vape capsules to shampoo. Frequently these are accompanied by varying degrees of hyperbolic claim as to its health and wellbeing benefits.
So what are the rules, and how do you avoid breaking them?
CBD oil for use in retail products comes from an authorised strain of Hemp.
The key overarching point is that the THC content of that CBD oil – so the chemical in the cannabinoid family of plants that gets you ‘high’ - must effectively be zero. So sorry to disappoint, but (legal) CBD oil sold by retail won’t (or shouldn’t) get you stoned. At all.
The safest way to be sure of the quality of the product, and its legality, is to buy from a reputable UK based supplier. They in turn should be able to identify the ultimate source of the product.
The production of CBD oil in the UK requires a licence from the government, and good suppliers should be able to provide a chemical analysis showing that the THC content is at a lawful level.
Some online suppliers are based abroad, often in the U.S. These are unlikely to be compliant with UK legislation, so are almost certainly best avoided.
It is also worth noting that some products are being advertised as containing CBD oil, when they do not contain any at all, or just contain a minute level. That almost certainly amounts to a breach of Trading Standards’ rules.
In addition, care should be taken not to claim any medical benefit.
Beyond that, it is clearly a live market, with plenty of distance left in it, and profit to be made.
Whilst the CBD oil trend will likely add to the shift in mood and attitude to cannabis, don't hold your breath on legalisation of the THC laden stuff. That seems to be coming, but still has quite some distance to go.