New York restaurants found out yesterday that just because CBD is red-hot right now, that doesn’t mean you can sell it. According to Eater New York, an online food and dining news site for New York, the city’s Department of Health ordered that restaurants, bars and other venues cannot sell CBD-infused edibles as the Food and Drug Administration maintains that CBD, an active ingredient in marijuana that purportedly provides relief to patients without getting them high (unlike THC) is not “safe as a food additive.”
Eater New York further reported that “inspectors started to embargo products in January, which means that though restaurants were asked to stop offering them, DOH staff did not take the goods away.” Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalizes the manufacturing, distribution and sale of hemp-derived CBD anywhere in the U.S., the DOH edict is sending a very mixed, if not confusing, message to those eager to partake in a booming market. Officials say CBD on its own can be sold as long as it’s not included in food or drinks.
Said a New York DOH spokesperson in a statement, “Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat. The Health Department takes seriously its responsibility to protect New Yorkers’ health. Until cannabidiol (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”
The DOH directive will clearly have a negative impact on the wide number of bars, restaurants and bakeries in New York City that have jumped on the CBD bandwagon. Speaking to a local CBS news outlet, Dorothy Stepnowska, owner of the Flower Power Coffee Shop, said the DOH ban has adversely affected her business, which consisted of selling CBD-infused beverages such as lattes, cappuccinos and espressos.
“Basically, a lot of people don’t want to get high so they turn to CBD. That’s where they can get the benefits without getting high,” Stepnowska told the news station. “So I actually just lost about $6,000 overnight.”
Starting in July, restaurants that don’t observe the new rule will be hit with fines ranging between $200 and $650, reported the New York Post.