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New York City Seems to Have a Problem With CBD

The laws are unclear when it comes to CBD. Whether it is being sold right off the shelf or being infused into food and drinks, the area of CBD is still murky much like the booming marijuana (THC) industry. It can be confusing. Most states are on board, but it can be a city to city and county to county issue. It is not uniform all across the board. Case in point is New York City and their new ruling.

New York City’s health department confirmed at the beginning of February that it had begun a crackdown on restaurants that use CBD oil as a food and drink additive. In doing this, New York City becomes the first major American city to begin enforcing CBD’s questionably legal but insanely popular use in prepared foods and drinks. Up until the ruling, NYC consumers would find CBD in a variety of products, including pizza, cocktails, cookies & brownies, and coffees and lattes.

“Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat,” according to a New York City Department of Health spokesperson. “Until cannabidiol … is deemed safe as a food additive, the department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”

Starting in July, restaurants that violate the ban could be subjected to fines of up to $650.

Even though New York City’s restrictions were not announced ahead of time, it really isn’t a surprise that regulatory agencies are stepping in to mediate how CBD oil is sold in the city. While industrial hemp cultivation was made legal in the United States in late 2018, the Food and Drug Administration has made clear that it will treat CBD oil the same as THC no matter which plant it comes from. The agency considers both illegal as additives in consumer food products. This is the plan, even though there are no plans for its own enforcement.

Beating NYC to the punch, in January, the Los Angeles County Department of Health announced it would be docking points on restaurant inspections for CBD’s use in prepared food and drink starting in July. Oddly enough, both the state of Maine, which already has legalized recreational cannabis, as well as the state of Ohio, which has a medical-marijuana program, have also cracked down on CBD edibles and prepared foods and drink at the state level. One can believe that as CBD oil shows up in more and more places and products, a continued escalation in law enforcement efforts seems very likely.

As you may already know if you are on this site, CBD oil has shown tremendous promise as a treatment for ailments such as epilepsy and anxiety. The problem is, that as a consumer product, it is largely unproven and unregulated. This is what makes it difficult for the public to understand what they’re buying or what effect it will have on them. In its simplest forms, CBD has no labeling standards or regulated dosage guidelines. One of the more pressing issues is that restaurants and businesses don’t disclose exactly how much CBD they actually put in the prepared foods and drinks. To add to the confusion even more so, at some businesses customers are having difficulty discerning which menu items include added CBD and which do not.

“The packaging and labeling requirements aren’t there yet in states that don’t have a cannabis regime,” said Griffen Thorne, a California-based attorney who specializes in cannabis law. “It is that lack of standardization is what makes most regulatory agencies nervous about CBD.

Discussing CBD’s enormous popularity in food, “If you go buy a CBD beverage and it’s not specially packaged—it just looks like another coffee or whatever—someone might take a sip who doesn’t intend to.”

One of the issues is that restaurants and purveyors often make medical claims about CBD’s effects for which there is little scientific proof, said Thorne. This includes its potential as an anti-inflammatory and a treatment for aches and pains. Thorne said that those promises could also be a source of legal trouble for businesses in the future.

The facts are is that cannabis law is changing rapidly across the United States at all levels of regulation and enforcement. This means that any attempt to cash in on growing consumer interest in marijuana and its derivatives assumes a certain amount of risk on the part of business owners. CBD oil in consumer foods might become legal and well regulated in coming years, but for the moment, even states where cannabis is legal seem wary of allowing restaurateurs to inject it into random products.

Personally, this is going to a short term situation. CBD is just too valuable to people and this is a great way to infuse it into people’s lives. It is also more cost effective too many as CBD can be expensive for some. Maybe you don’t want to get a whole bottle of tincture. Maybe you don’t need twenty gummies. It might just be that you want a quick CBD infusion in your coffee or your pastry.

CBD will be available in food and drink soon enough. Especially with the relaxing in marijuana laws state to state and on its way to federal legalization, it is only just a matter of time for CBD to get that darling treatment. Frankly speaking, I am a bit surprised it has been met with any resistance. Seeing as we know that there are no psychoactive effects from using CBD, why all the panic and paranoia? It has been deemed much milder than marijuana containing THC or THC based products. As I said, give it time. I can see this law being abolished off the books within the year.

In the meanwhile, if you can’t get your CBD needs from brownies and lattes at your local cafe, you can certainly get CBD safely right here at Use the coupon code TREEZ to get 25% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER right here and right now!

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