EPISODE #17 Legal and market update with Jonathan Deverill from DAC Beachcroft

This week we delve into The Novel Foods regulations which affect the CBD sector, along with the Proceeds of Crime Act which affects international investors within the industry. We also look ahead to European Cannabis Week 2019 taking place in London from the 23rd-29th June.

We are joined by Jonathan Deverill, corporate partner at DAC Beachcroft, a highly respected international law firm headquartered in London, who sheds some light on the above topics.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Deverill has over 20 years' experience in corporate and commercial law work, and is one of the leading medical cannabis lawyers in the UK.  Over the years Jonathan has been involved in a significant number of cross-border transactions. Jonathan acts regularly for both companies and their nominated advisors and brokers. Recent work includes advising on A number of projects in the medical marijuana field.

Podcast Episode Summary

  • DAC Beachcroft are taking an active approach within the Cannabis industry and are representing various clients from across the sector.

  • Jonathan first came across Cannabis legal issues by chance in September 2017 when he was working in Calgary and Vancouver in Canada. He came across many questions around the legalities of Cannabis considering it had been federally legalised on a medicinal and a recreational level.

  • When he returned to the UK, he bought his knowledge with him and introduced the UK team to the emerging sector and what his findings were.

  • CBD oil is an extract from cannabis or hemp plants, it is widely available in the UK at the moment. It is estimated that there are around 1000 vendors selling these products in the UK. The Novel Foods Regulations are designed to protect the public within the UK when new foods come to the market which haven’t been traditionally consumed within the market. If the food was not widely consumed before 1997, it will be subjected to many tests in order to prove its safety.

  • In order to think out the legalities of selling CBD products, it is useful to refer to multiple pieces of legislation, including the Misuse of Drugs legislation, UK Medicines Legislation, The Novel Foods Legislation and the Food Safety Legislation. The product also needs to meet certain criteria under each of these legislations in order to be sold lawfully in the UK.

  • CBD products must not make claims that the products have medicinal value.

  • The Novel Foods Regulations come from the European Union, meaning they apply to the UK along with every other country within the EU. Most CBD products will be caught by this piece of legislation with the exception of a few which may have been extracted and changed before being sold on the market.

  • In Austria, CBD products have been taken off of the shelves of shops due to the Novel Foods Regulations.

  • Jonathan predicts that in the next two years, we will end up with a specific set of guidelines which benchmark the specifications of the product, labelling, marketing, and the ways in which it can be sold in the UK.

  • Investors may be put off by the fact that there are no specific pieces of legislation which have been written directly for the sale of CBD products as the legalities of its sale in the future are still unknown. Investors need to be clued up and bare in mind the future consequences of their investments.

  • The Proceeds of Crime Act came into force in the UK in 2002, the background doesn’t have anything to do with Cannabis but it is more to do with criminals living off the proceeds of crimes.

  • In this case, this act can relate to those receiving money from investments in companies which may sell Cannabis overseas. In the eyes of this legislation, the money received this way is ‘dirty money’ unless the same activity is lawful within the place in which it is carried out, and if the activity was carried out in the UK, you would be served with less than 12 months in prison for doing so.

  • If you are thinking about investing in Canadian or American businesses - in fact any business which is driving revenue through the sale of cannabis - you need to be extremely careful.


  • There are no specific law or legislations regarding CBD products in the UK at the moment 04:31

  • Things are at a very early stage here in the UK and in most of Europe compared to America where these industries are well established and have been around for a long time. Canadians are looking at Europe compared to America as a huge potential market for products. 20:10

  • At the moment at least the focus in Europe is and has to be on medical products and CBD as wellbeing and wellness products as there is no established recreational market within Europe. 20:50

Recommended Resources

Join Jonathan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-deverill-307406/

Jonathan’s articles exploring Cannabis: http://views.dacbeachcroft.com/u/102epqd/jonathan-deverill

DAC Beachcroft Law Firm: https://www.dacbeachcroft.com/

European Cannabis Week: https://www.ecwevents.com/

UK Novel Foods Regulations: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/novel_food/legislation_en

Proceeds of Crime Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/29/contents


Cannabis Europa Flagship Event

On 24th-25th of June 2019, the leaders of the medical cannabis industry will gather in the heart of the city at London's world class cultural hub, the Southbank Centre. This two-day event will explore the latest developments in the European market and the professionalisation of the industry across the continent.

Grab 20% off tickets for the event using the code ‘CEDiscount20’



European CBD Expo in London

Respected researchers, scientists, ag-tech, pharma experts, regulators, investors, entrepreneurs and eighty exhibitors will share their knowledge about the flourishing medicinal cannabis industry at Europe CBD Expo, Britain’s first-ever international Medicinal Cannabis and Cannabinoids Trade Show and Conference.

The B2B event will take place on Friday, 12th July at The ExCeL London, followed by a combined B2Band consumer day on 13th July.


Grab a ticket with 10% off using the link below - just make sure you enter ‘TCC’ at checkout to make use of the discount.