Food & Drink

Portman Group issues CBD guidance

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UK watchdog the Portman Group had released guidance on the packaging and marketing of alcohol products that contain cannabidiol (CBD).


CBD has become a popular ingredient in alcoholic drinks

As the trend for alcoholic products infused with CBD continues, the Portman Group has provided advice for producers in relation to the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks.

The new guidance has been designed to help producers comply with the Code.

Portman Group CEO Matt Lambert said: “CBD is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient, and its use in alcohol products is no exception to this trend. We have responded quickly to this change in the market by issuing category guidance.

“This guidance will be crucial in helping producers understand how they may use CBD innovatively and creatively while still complying with the Code.”

The Portman Group said the laws surrounding the use of CBD in food and drink is complex. As such, the regulatory body urges producers to get legal advice before launching CBD-infused products on the market.

The group has given guidance for marketing CBD products in relation to two of its rules – an association with illicit drugs and the suggestion of therapeutic qualities.

Producers have been advised to avoid any wording or imagery that alludes to any connection with cannabis or illegal drugs. Furthermore, such products must avoid any links to health and wellness.

Factual mentions of CBD are permitted, particularly when it comes to listing it as an ingredient, however CBD should not be used as a prominent product descriptor, the Portman Group said.

The full guidance can be viewed here.

The guidance was released after the Portman Group received its first complaint against a CBD product earlier this year, which was upheld.

Silent Pool Distillers’ CBD-infused gin Colorado High broke the rules by suggesting therapeutic benefits and creating an association with illicit drugs, the Independent Complaints Panel said.

As a result, a Retailer Alert Bulletin was issued, which instructed retailers to stop stocking Colorado High.

The Portman Group offers free and confidential advice for manufacturers on how the Codes of Practice apply to their products and marketing.

In February this year, the Portman Group released guidance on hard seltzers after research showed 93% of consumers were unfamiliar with the name.

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