CBD ban in Austria - What happened?

Since the Ministry of Health enforced a few irritating provisions on CBD last week, countless misinformation and unclear statements have appeared in public. Our partner, ARGE CANNA, an independent and non-partisan working group in Austria, which advocates the use of cannabis as a medication and wants to expand research into the medical use of cannabinoids, is helping to clarify the situation.

A document published by the Chamber of Pharmacists is especially misleading for pharmacists. The misleading reproduction of given facts and the stricter presentation of the state of facts support the interests of pharmaceutical companies known by name. An observation of ARGE CANNA, which focuses intensively on this topic, shows that extracts from cannabis have a better and stronger effect than the pure substances or isolates produced by pharmaceutical companies on the market.



The situation of the individual product segments is as follows:
It is permitted to label cannabis products as "food supplements" or similar and to give recommendations for their consumption. This is forbidden and legally prohibited. It is allowed to sell full-spectrum cannabis extract mixed with e.g. vegetable oil in pharmacies as long as the product does not claim to be something it is not or may not be. But as far as a product is only "hemp flower extract with naturally contained CBD in vegetable oil" and contains less than 0.3% THC/THCA, nobody can prohibit the sale.

Also the sale of hemp blossom tea from supermarkets and pharmacies is still allowed. The current legal situation was declared in a regulation of the Ministry of Social Affairs and says that "products from the flower and fruit clusters of certain industrial hemp varieties are excluded from the Narcotic Drugs Act if their content of THC does not exceed 0.3 % before, during and after the production process and if it is not possible to easily or profitably produce narcotic drugs from them in a concentration or quantity suitable for abuse". Since hemp blossom tea does not contain cannabinoids in the hot water infusion and therefore a "suitable concentration or quantity for drug abuse" is not achieved, it can still be sold.

In the case of smoking goods, the buyer of hemp aroma blossoms is the only one responsible for their continued use. However, if hemp flowers are packaged in cigarettes and the impression is created that they are intended for smoking, not only a higher tax rate applies, but also the authorities are likely to withdraw such products from the market.

The only uncertainties are with regard to cosmetics. ARGE CANNA recommends not to use product names such as "hand cream", "face cream" or "lip balm" and not to give any recommendations for usage. Then these kind still can be sold.
All official and institutional publications on the "new" regulations for CBD show how little work and effort is put into the legal clarification around the topic CBD.
Together with ARGE CANNA, we, the HANFEXPO in Austria, are in favour of a proper and decent new regulation of cannabis.

Order of the Ministry of Social Affairs