The application relates to its range of pure cannabinoid isolates, broad-spectrum distillates and custom cannabinoid formulations in a timely move intended to satisfy recent updates by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) regarding the application process.
"The UK novel food regulations require that all products containing CBD extracts and isolates must be sourced from an FSA-validated supplier," says Jake Black, Chief Scientific Officer of Treehouse Biotech.
"After 31 March 2021, only products for which the FSA has a validated application will be allowed to remain on the market.
In another change to guidelines, the FSA announced last week that it would accept applications up until 31 March, after receiving a high number of last-minute dossiers.
The FSA had previously advised firms to apply at least five weeks in advance of the deadline in order to allow for eight working days for an administrative check and a further 30 working days for validation.
“We have received a large number of applications close to the deadline,” explained Emily Miles, FSA’s Chief Executive. “This means that, in order to process these properly, we are adapting the criteria of products allowed to remain on sale from 1 April .
“For some time now we’ve been supporting a pragmatic and proportionate approach to CBD regulation. Our commitment to ensuring that consumers know these products are being checked for safety remains firm.”
The Colorado-based firm, which has offices in London and Amsterdam, is a subsidiary of Next Frontier Brands, a consumer goods company focused on beverages and wellness products.
The firm has obtained current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) certifications for food and dietary supplement manufacturing as well as a patent (US Patent No. 10,239,808) covering tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) removal from hemp extracts.
CBD Safety Study Consortium
To navigate the ever-changing rules, Treehouse also revealed that it had joined the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry's (ACI) CBD Safety Study Consortium in order to produce the toxicology data required by the FSA for a successful application.
This study addressed gaps in data identified by the UK's Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT), an independent scientific committee that advises the FSA, who has highlighted gaps in the existing evidence proving the safety of CBD in food.
“The update from the FSA is a welcome one,” says Shomi Malik, ACI’s External Affairs Director. “The 31 March deadline is now for submission, rather than validation.”
“On the surface, it seems that the goalposts have moved again, but it's actually positive news for the sector.
This means that there is still time for companies to engage in this process and keep their products on the shelves from 1 April 2021, but you have to move quickly,” Malik adds.
"The other significant takeaway from today's update is that there will be two approved products lists, or at least a clear demarcation between those dossiers that have been validated, and those that haven't. How will retailers react to yet another item to gain clarity on?"