The NMPA stated that cosmetic companies were not allowed to produce or import products containing prohibited ingredients stipulated in the new inventories from May 28.
In the past three years, more and more beauty products with cannabis ingredients like CBD have emerged in China.
End of the road?
According to NMPA, there were only 18 CBD cosmetics filed before 2019. This increased to 413 and 1783 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
He told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that this increase also resulted in growing distrust of CBD cosmetics among the authorities.
“China NMPA will issue transitional measures granting a deadline for their sales. However, retailers are encouraged to pull CBD cosmetics off the shelves,” said Hedy He, regulatory analyst, Chemlinked.
Hanma’s ambitions are global. It has acquired an extraction plant in Las Vegas, which is expected to begin production soon, and it plans one in Canada. Mr. Tan, the chairman, said he hoped that China, with the world’s largest market, would follow the lead of the United States, which he called “the best-educated” market for the benefits of cannabis.
At a news conference in Beijing last month, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the National Narcotics Control Commission, said the momentum toward legalization in other countries meant the Chinese authorities would ”more strictly strengthen the supervision of industrial cannabis.”
The academy has been breeding its own varieties of hemp — each of which requires approval from the police — to ensure the plant contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, the international standard for cannabis. There are nine varieties now, and Dr. Yang’s team continues to research more.
The Divine Farmer’s Classic of Materia Medica, a text from the first or second century, attributed curative powers to cannabis, its seeds and its leaves for a variety of ailments.
“They would go to the villagers’ cannabis fields, pick the buds and bring them back to the hotel to dry and smoke,” Dr. Yang said. “Some of them became deranged and ran around naked after smoking it.”
They are doing so even though cannabidiol has not been authorized for consumption in China, a country with some of the strictest drug-enforcement policies in the world.
Hempsoul is one of four companies in Yunnan that have received licenses to process hemp for cannabidiol, putting more than 36,000 acres under cultivation. Now others are joining the rush.
Other regions have taken notice, too. In 2017, Heilongjiang, a province along China’s northeastern border with Russia, joined Yunnan in allowing cannabis cultivation. Jilin, the province next door, said this year that it would also move to do so.
China permits the sale of hemp seeds and hemp oil and the use of CBD in cosmetics, but it has not yet approved cannabidiol for use in food and medicines. So, for now, the bulk of Hempsoul’s product — roughly two tons a year — is bound for markets overseas. Mr. Tian said he believed it was only a matter of time before China, too, approved the compound for ingestion.
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