Portman Group issues category guidance on CBD

25th anniversary of Portman Group’s Code
Photo: iStock

The Portman Group, the self regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, has released new guidance on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcohol products containing cannabidiol (CBD).

The guidance is designed to aid producers in complying with the group’s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, should they choose to produce a CBD-infused product.

“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,” commented Matt Lambert, Portman Group chief executive.

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

The guidance does not imply that the inclusion of CBD in alcoholic drinks is legally permitted, the Portman Group clarified, as the law on the use of CBD in food and drink products is complex. The trade body urged producers to seek legal advice before placing products containing CBD on the market.

The guidance is intended to highlight elements producers should be aware of when marketing products in this category. It specifically pertains to rules in the Code that deal with the association with illicit drugs and suggestion of therapeutic qualities.

The guidance stipulates that producers should avoid wording and imagery which alludes to any association with Cannabis or other illicit drugs. It also underscores the need to avoid health and wellness claims. Factual references to CBD are acceptable, particularly when it comes to listing it as an ingredient, however CBD should not be used as a prominent product descriptor.

The full guidance can be accessed here.