Is Kannaway CBD legal in Austria?

One of the areas about CBD that has caused confusion in the Austrian market is the question of whether it is legal to sell and consume CBD products in Austria. Is Kannaway CBD legal in Austria? The simple answer is yes. Contrary to inaccurate reports in the Austrian press, it is completely legal to sell and consume CBD products in Austria as long as they are labelled as a type of food and not medicine. All Kannaway CBD ingestible products are labelled as a dietary supplement, and not medicine, and are therefore in compliance with Austria’s Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.

The uncertainty around the legality of CBD products is completely understandable, given recent efforts by the EU to introduce standards to cannabis-based products. The massive surge in popularity of these products, with CBD being used in everything from toothpaste to beverages, prompted the EU to take action as part of a wider effort to ensure product safety. Again, this is completely understandable – and a move that is welcomed by legitimate CBD companies such as Kannaway – given the number of fake CBD products that have emerged on the market.

The EU’s Committee for Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) revisited the permitted consumption of hemp products in the Novel Foods (NF) catalogue. In 2019, PAFF decided that hemp seeds were permitted as a food but declared hemp flowers and leaves novel – which caused confusion in the legitimate hemp foods industry and the market.

However, the NF catalogue is not a legally binding document, leaving member states free to apply their own regulations at national level. For example, Belgium permits the sale of dried CBD flowers for smoking but considers all other hemp-derived products to be novel. Ireland only permits hemp extract if it is extracted through a cold extraction process. Bulgaria passed a law in mid-2019 that opened up its marketplace to CBD oil products.

This might explain the confusion surrounding CBD products, as there does not appear to be a single market for hemp-derived products in the EU. Now it remains for legitimate CBD companies, like Kannaway, to inform and educate customers about what these developments by the EU actually mean in relation to the legality of CBD products in Austria and other European markets. To put it briefly, Kannaway Austria customers can rest assured that these developments will not affect their consumption of Kannaway CBD products or their businesses as Kannaway Brand Ambassadors.

The authorities are usually 10 steps behind what’s happening in the market, and typically use these ‘stalling’ tactics to buy themselves time so they can understand the potential of the new product, e.g. allowing member states to figure out how they could benefit from the situation from a tax standpoint etc. In the meantime, the most important takeaway from this development by the EU is that CBD products cannot be advertised as medicine. As long as CBD products are labelled as a food, they are legal to buy, sell and consume in Austria.

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