Even though CBD is legal across the country, New York City officials are putting a ban on selling food and drink containing the popular marijuana extract.
The New York City Department of Health (DOH) has started cracking down on eateries across the city that sell CBD-infused food and drink. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound derived from cannabis that has become increasingly popular as a wellness product in the past couple of years. Spurred on by the recent legalization of the substance (alongside hemp) late last year, CBD is on track to become one of the country's biggest wellness crazes—just maybe not in NYC.
As of January, the DOH implemented new rules that barred the sale of food items that contained the newly legalized compound, as CBD has not been "deemed safe as a food additive." CBD itself will continue to be available for sale - but only by itself. However, these new rules have raised the ire of restaurateurs effected by the ban.
"It's like telling me I can buy rum and I can sell rum, but I can't sell a rum baba," CJ Holm—co-owner of Fat Cat Kitchen in New York's Gramercy Park—told Eater. "It makes no sense."
Over the past few years, Holm says the cannabis-infused baked goods and beverages they sell at her restaurant have become her biggest revenue stream. Fat Cat Kitchen seems to be the first establishment in the city that has been forced to stop selling CBD-infused goods.
"It just seemed so random and arbitrary to me," Holm told The New York Times. "And it was really difficult getting answers as to what the exact issue is."
Regardless, Holm won't be the only business owner forced to stop selling some of their most popular products in NYC. Restaurants in other states need to watch out too, as officials in Maine and Ohio have also implemented similar regulations around banning CBD-infused foods.
Things may change in the next year if NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) plan to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis by April 2020 comes to fruition. However, the onus for this one may be pushed back on the FDA, who say CBD may not be sold as a dietary supplement. And we may not see that happen until cannabis is legalized on the federal level.