We have had the best Christmas present. On December 19, 2023, a prefectural decree informed the Lyon start-up Naka that it will have to stop its activity until it has received approval for its CBD drink.
A little month before seeing its cans on sale at Auchan and Intermarché, after Franprix, Casino and the Grande grocery store.
“I have to lay off my permanent contract and put an end to an internship and a work-study program, it’s a real heartbreak,” laments the founding CEO Yan Decock, who describes, in essence, this decision as “absurd” .
“There are commercialized English drinks”
The prefectural decree mentions a lack of “approval from EFSA”, Europe’s food regulatory authority, on this molecule classified in “novel food”, to explain its choice. The entrepreneur points out the administrative slowness and a market with variable geometry in the CBD.
“We made the first requests for approval in 2020. Obviously, we are waiting for results, in particular from analyzes on the liver, to make a decision. But then, how do we explain that there are commercialized English drinks. And then we continue to be able to smoke CBD, hydrate our skin with CBD », complains Yan Decock.
The start-up, forced to go dormant, clings to the hope of finding an alternative while waiting for a potential release in 2025. A very long delta for the company with a turnover of €350,000. “We can perhaps move towards a transitional solution. We can definitely envisage communicating additional information on our packaging if necessary,” says Yan Decock.