The city of New York is cracking down on the distribution of CBD infused food products. CBD infused edibles have been banned by the NYC Health Department. NYC restaurants and bars are being prohibited from serving CBD products to their consumers. Although the cultivation and sale of hemp is legal in the United States, research is still lacking in some areas, making it hard to regulate CBD product sales in the food and beverage field. So, why is it that the sale of CBD products in the lifestyle hemisphere isn’t being affected?
IS THIS THE END OF CBD IN NYC?
Many restaurants and bars in the NYC area have been visited by the Health Department in an effort to stop them from selling CBD infused edibles to their consumers. Anyone that continues to use CBD in food and drinks in restaurants can face a fine. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised that it is unlawful to add cannabidiol (CBD) to food or drink,” a spokesman for the city said in a statement to CNBC. “We are currently informing businesses in New York City that may sell food and drink about this regulation, and have implemented an educational period to help them achieve compliance.” That period of leniency will gradually roll out through the summer and fall, after which point businesses selling CBD-laced edible products will start incurring fines.
CBD “UNFIT” FOR CONSUMPTION
Owners are already pulling CBD items off of their menus while others who have yet to be visited are taking things cautiously until told otherwise. The past few years have seen a great rise in CBD product accessibility in the food and beverage market in New York City. Things like CBD lattes, CBD cocktails and CBD chocolate chunk cookies were just beginning to gain popularity. Research shows that CBD is useful for things like anxiety and inflammation, but there’s a lack of evidence to support many of the other beneficial health claims. The newly stringent crackdown was triggered by a December 2018 FDA ruling that deemed CBD unfit for consumption in a culinary context.
The change came without warning or explanation. A more public industry discussion started only after Fat Cat Kitchen’s C.J. Holm publicized that she was surprised when an inspector embargoed her CBD cookies. Shortly after, the DOH confirmed that it was indeed enforcing the rule citywide and embargoed products at five restaurants total, and $200 fines were reportedly starting on July 1. An inspector had previously put her CBD baked goods in a plastic Ziplock bag with a paper saying “embargoed” and “unlawful to move or disturb.” She can’t sell the cookies, she says, but it’s now legal for her to remove them from the bag.
Luxury retailer Barney’s New York however is preparing to stock CBD infused products and cannabis accessories in a new luxury head shop they’re calling “The High End.” This includes a new luxury skincare line infused with CBD. The shop is slated to open in March in Beverly Hills with plans to expand to New York should the legalization of adult marijuana use occur in the empire. How is it that the lifestyle field is unaffected by this ban? The culinary field and the lifestyle field are regulated by two different governing bodies, making it so that Barney’s can continue the sale of CBD products while restaurants and bars are pulling CBD from their menus.