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19. June 2020
News Regulation

United Nations Meeting to Discuss WHO Recommendations on CBD

A United Nations body is due to meet this month, in the first of a series of gatherings that will discuss recommendations made by the World Health Organisation, that could see CBD, and CBD preparations, containing no more than 0.2% THC removed from international drug-control conventions.

According to reports, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs Secretariat issued guidance to all permanent missions, earlier this month, to schedule the closed door meetings. Next week’s meeting will be the first in a series of discussions scheduled between now and December.

In the recommendations the World Health Organisation has suggested that CBD ingredients up to 0.2% THC should not be under international control. Recommendation 5.5, if ratified would have significant implications, including the easing of international trade and control of CBD products.

The recommendations were due to be voted upon by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs Secretariat in March, however the vote was delayed. News of this meeting and subsequent discussions could signify that a vote may be called, on the issue, for December.

According to reports by, the guidance emailed to United Nations members including discussion topics around Recommendation 5.5 and the implications for CBD:

  • International trade of CBD and “dispute resolution between exporting and importing countries regarding compliance with the threshold.
  • The “consequences of including both medical and nonmedical products” and the “possible legitimization of recreational consumption of derivatives of hemp with low THC content.”
  • A series of legal implications and clarifications, for example whether the footnote would also apply to preparations that are not produced for medical purposes.
  • The necessity of a “common methodology” to test THC levels.

Many member countries and the European Commission are still unsure about the possible ramifications of approving Recommendation 5.5, and so any discussion to move the issue forward will be beneficial.

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