How Legal is CBD in Germany?: BfArM Replies

BERLIN, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / May 28, 2019 / Since the start of this year, there have been several reports of seizures of CBD-shops throughout Europe. Many of these exercises are downright questionable as the position of the Government on CBD has remained unclear to distributors.

Notwithstanding these raids, new CBD shops continue to pop up in what is seen as a lucrative market. CBD is a medicinal, non-psychoactive substance found among over one hundred components in the cannabis plant. This means it is not classified under the European Narcotics Law, given that it meets stipulated criteria.

This has prompted online shop to make a formal inquiry with the "Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices" (BfArM), the agency that bears the responsibility of declaring the legal status of products in Germany.

"Our request to the BfArM is simple," says C. Badde, the founder of in a statement. "Is this cannabis component legal in Germany or not?"

The importance of getting clarity on the legal status of CBD for goes beyond sales. This can determine the legal position a distributor is with the government and help other CBD shops know whether their practice is within a legal system.

In response to's inquiry, BfArM released a statement of its own, clarifying the conditions that make CBD legal in Germany.

"With the Act on the Amendment of Narcotic Law and Other Regulations, which came into effect on 10.03.2017, the legislator changed the position of cannabis in Annexes I to III to section 1 Paragraph 1 of the Narcotic Law (BtMG) in Germany. Since then, the Narcotics Act has distinguished between cannabis in Annex III (use for medical purposes) and cannabis in Annex I (use for non-medical purposes). Annex I also provides for exemptions for hemp (see letters b and d under the heading cannabis).

According to letter b under the position Cannabis in Annex I to § 1 paragraph 1 BtMG, plants and plant parts of plants belonging to the genus Cannabis are excluded from the narcotic regulations if they originate from cultivation in countries of the European Union with certified seeds ( industrial hemp) or their content of THC does not exceed 0.2 % and the trade with them (except cultivation) serves exclusively commercial or scientific purposes which exclude a possibility for abuse for intoxication purposes.

This derogation shall also apply to preparations of the plants or parts of plants if they comply with the above conditions.

Since the free trade is restricted to commercial or scientific purposes, unprocessed or processed (e.g. only dried and crushed) parts of plants may not be sold to the end consumer.

This does not apply to preparations with processed industrial hemp of the above-mentioned varieties, even if they still contain small THC residues from the plant parts. However, the condition for sale to the end consumer is that abuse for intoxication purposes can be ruled out. The limit values of the BfR can be invoked here if oral ingestion of the product is intended.

Based on the response fro, BfArM, the type of cannabis extract in question (CBD Oil, CBD-Isolate and other Cannabidiol Extracts) can only be sold legally to the consumer if extracted from industrial hemp leaf (< 0.2 % THC or EU variety) and the extract meets the BfR guideline values. If it doesn't meet those guidelines, it could be categorized as a class of illegal narcotics. However, these stipulation applies to the non-medical cannabidiol component.

According to the German Narcotics Law, cannabis products advertised as intended for medical purposes can only be promoted if it meets the requirements of Annex III to § 1 Para. 1 BtMG. This subsection states that "only from cultivation which is carried out for medical purposes under state control in accordance with Articles 23 and 28 Paragraph 1 of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs"

Going by the response released by BfArM, it's clear that the distribution and sales of CBD in Germany is legal insomuch it doesn't run foul of given guidelines. "The goal of our inquiry is to ensure the cannabidiol businesses see clarity in the laws surrounding the cannabis industry," says's C. Badde.



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