The Hemp and CBD Expo, NEC Birmingham!
This weekend, 2-3rd March 2019, saw the first expo of its kind in the UK, completely dedicated to Hemp and CBD. Arriving the night before, we met up with 2 or 3 other small business we have been in contact with or have working with to bring quality products to our consumers.
The first night went well with regard to networking and finally putting faces to names was nice. Probably a little more alcohol consumed that should have been!!
Arriving at the NEC on Saturday morning where we were met with long queues. This was a sure sign that the CBD industry really has taken off. As a small business, it felt somewhat intimidating at first, we were small fish and a very big pond. However, we all stuck together and quickly settled in.
Our first job when we got in was to go and meet Peter Reynolds of CannaPro, who had kindly given all of the CannaPro Certified Businesses a spot on the stand to showcase their products and chat to anyone interested in either setting up a businesses within the industry or people who already had businesses and wanted to expand their product range or wanted more information on how to become certified member of CannaPro.
For CannaPro to offer space on the stand for all of its members was truly amazing and id like to think we done the industry proud and we had shown that small businesses can actually work together and succeed in doing so.
Lets talk compliance for a second. We as an industry in the UK work damned hard to ensure we all remain compliant and follow the regulations set out by the relevant organisations. We work hard to ensure the consumer knows exactly what they are getting and what they are getting is compliant and safe.
After the first hour of walking around the Expo it was clear that more than half the companies there were selling products that weren’t compliant in the UK. For example, there were companies selling CBD Flowers, Edibles and Oral Tinctures with CBD Isolate in and other companies quite blatantly making medical claims on banners and posters around their stands.
We cannot emphasis enough that this is not allowed in the UK. CBD Isolate is only allowed to be used in vape and cosmetic products, CBD Flowers carry the same sentence as hight THC buds, we all know that we are not allowed to publicly make medical claims about CBD Products. This really got our back up for a number of reasons:
- This is the first of its kind Expo in the UK and anyone looking to set up or who are interested in CBD in the UK are getting mixed signals. When UK companies like ourselves are bending over backwards to remain complaint and overseas companies come to a British Expo and start selling non compliant products?! It really does give off the wrong impression
- Given the current interference from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on trying to make CBD a novel food, its now more than ever we really need to make sure we all remain complaint and need to stop these non compliant companies. It is not an image for industry that we want. We need to work together.
The organisers were confronted by a number of people from different areas of the industry about all of this and made aware of people doing and selling things they shouldn’t be. We made a strong point about making these events more accessible to smaller companies who are complaint and hopefully we will be at the next one as stall holders, showing the British public how we do it properly and what compliance looks like.
There will be a meeting being held next week with 2 the business holders we were with and the organisers of the Hemp Expo to see what can be done about the compliance issues at the next event.
All that being said, it really was a great weekend and many companies there were indeed being complaint and showcasing how UK CBD industry should be. We also learnt a lot and we met some amazing people in the process that really inspired us to drive forward. The way the small people work together is fantastic.
Few snaps from the weekend below.