DENVER – (TSX: CWEB) (OTCQX: CWBHF) Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. has achieved a milestone becoming one of the first companies to receive validation of its Novel Food applications from the UK Food Standards Agency for its full-spectrum hemp extracts in the United Kingdom. To date, most UK consumers have had access primarily to CBD isolate products and may be unaware of the potential benefits of the entourage effect from full-spectrum CBD like Charlotte’s Web, which includes all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids extracted from the whole hemp plant.
Importantly, this milestone adds Charlotte’s Web to the FSA’s list of products allowed to be sold in the UK, whereas companies not on the list are prohibited from the market. Charlotte’s Web is one of the fraction of companies to receive validation from the FSA out of more than 800 applications submitted, and one of only a few U.S.-based companies represented.
“This milestone gives Charlotte’s Web and full-spectrum CBD a legitimate presence within the UK market,” said Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte’s Web. “We can now expand in the UK and commence discussions with large retailers who have been waiting for access to full-spectrum products from our patented hemp cultivars.”
Novel Foods are ingredients which have not been widely consumed by people in the UK or European Union (EU) before May 1997. This includes cannabidiol (“CBD”) and other consumable derivatives of the hemp plant, including whole-plant hemp extract. Novel Foods need to be authorised by the FSA before they can be included on the list of novel foods and marketed for sale in the UK.
The FSA is the Central Competent Authority for food safety that issues guidance to support consistency in approach in the United Kingdom. The FSA’s rigorous Novel Food authorization process for CBD offers regulatory stability and a viable path to full commercialization for CBD products within the UK. A validated Novel Food FSA authorization is required to legally sell ingestible CBD products such as oils, gummies, and capsules beyond March 2021. Charlotte’s Web’s applications with comprehensive toxicity and safety studies have been validated and will proceed for risk assessment. This status allows Charlotte’s Web to continue selling its products in the U.K.
In addition to its Novel Foods application, Charlotte’s Web is collaborating with The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) which is part of the Secretariat Advisory Board (SAB), a European consortium of the UK’s and Europe’s leading CBD and hemp trade bodies and groups collaborating to provide hemp industry views, innovation and research, and includes the Scottish Hemp Association and the British Hemp Alliance. The SAB is focused on encouraging the development of clear UK regulation for CBD that reflects evidence-based policy to safely serve the public and wider national interests engaged in public wellness.
“Through the hard work of the EIHA and others like Charlotte’s Web, we now have the ability to move forward with consumer education and access to full spectrum CBD wellness,” said Lorenza Romanese, Managing Director of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA). “Novel Foods authorised companies’ adherence to the regulatory framework will drive consumer confidence.”
UK CBD Market
According to the Brightfield Group the CBD market in the UK has grown rapidly, with the number of CBD consumers virtually doubling in 2019 to reach over 7% of the adult population (8% in 2020), representing sales of more than US$250M in 2020, growing to an estimated US $1.3 billion by 2025.1
The UK has a large populace of 67 million people with a predisposition toward natural wellness products making the UK CBD market well-positioned to thrive. With the FSA’s support for a uniquely well-defined regulatory framework, the UK’s CBD market is expected to continue on an upward trajectory.
Charlotte’s Web Products in the U.K.
Charlotte’s Web products can be legally purchased online today through the Company’s exclusive UK distributor Savage Cabbage Ltd., one of the oldest and most trusted CBD companies in the UK, serving an active and loyal customer base of wellness seekers. Savage Cabbage is a Member of EIHA (European Industrial Hemp Association) and distributes a large portfolio of Charlotte’s Web whole-plant, full spectrum products that contain all the beneficial compounds that exist in the hemp plant as well as CBD. Under the new Novel Foods regulatory framework, Savage Cabbage will leverage its extensive distribution network in the UK to expand the presence of Charlotte’s Web in retail distribution channels and on the high street, with a growing number of notable retailers.
Certain information in this news release constitutes forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, ”forward-looking information”). In some cases, but not necessarily in all cases, forward looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “targets”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “an opportunity exists”, ”is positioned”, “estimates”, “intends”, “assumes”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate” or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “will” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances contain forward-looking information. Specifically, this news release contains forward-looking information relating to, among others: UK consumer awareness of the Company’s products; expansion activities in the UK and discussions with UK retailers regarding sales of the Company’s products; commercialization of CBD products within the UK; future regulatory environment for CBD in Europe and the UK, and the impacts of regulatory changes; anticipated market growth for CBD in the UK; and sales of the Company’s products in the UK.
Statements containing forward-looking information are not historical facts but instead represent management’s current expectations, estimates and projections regarding the future of our business, future plans, strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Forward-looking information is necessarily based on a number of opinions, assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company as of the date of this news release, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. The material factors and assumptions used to develop the forward-looking information herein include, but are not limited to, the following: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the regulatory climate in which the Company currently operates and may in the future operate; consumer interest in CBD; successful sales of the Company’s products; and the success of sales and marketing activities. Important factors that could cause actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking information include, among others, the factors discussed throughout the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 available on www.SEDAR.com and www.sec.gov , and other risk factors contained in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission available on www.sec.gov and filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities available on www.sedar.com. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking information, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
(This information is primarily sourced from Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. Highly Capitalized has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Read our Disclaimer here).