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Lidl Supermarket Faces Issues Over CBD Products Across Europe

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One of the world’s largest grocery stores faces repeated problems over “cannabis” products in its European outlets

The going has not been easy for Lidl this summer on the cannabis front. The supermarket giant, with over 12,000 brick and mortar stores across Europe and the United States has now run into its second contretemps over “CBD” in a single month

Last month, in the middle of August, the supermarket chain faced considerable embarrassment after the Munich police raided a Lidl store in the city. By the end of the month, Lidl Ireland had also pulled two hemp products due to concerns over unduly high levels of THC. One of those products was for an organic hemp seed oil product and the other was for that good old standby, hemp tea. They also sent warnings of the recalls to their shops across the country.

Customers are being asked to refrain from consuming the products and to return them to the store of purchase for a full refund.

Even individually, the incidents are embarrassing to Lidl Corporate, an international German company with US headquarters in Arlington Virginia and150 storefronts across the country. In Europe, the chain has a footprint in almost every country.

Taken together, even the largest retailers are now facing the biggest issues that the entire cannabis industry from mom-and-pop hemp farmers to larger players, has struggled with now for the better part of five years – certainly on the CBD front.

Changing Cannabis Policy Globally

It is certainly easy to understand why a global grocery store has gotten it so wrong on cannabis. It is still easy to do. In the United States, CBD products are legit in state markets thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. In Europe, CBD has been declared “not a narcotic” on the EU level by the European Commission. However, on a country-by-country basis, there is still a great deal of confusion. In Germany, for example, cannabis is still part of the German Narcotics Act, no matter that the government is now actively funding several CBD and hemp experiments.

There is no “global” standard – which makes corporate decision-making difficult to do – although other large corporations like Apple and Amazon are clearly moving in this direction also.

Ultimately, full and final cannabis reform is still a global goal – even as countries and regions begin to make headway.

The International Cannabis Business Conference is back! Make sure to check our website and social media for recordings of sessions and stay tuned!