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New York City Restaurants Selling CBD-Laced Food And Drinks to be Fined

In a recent move, the Health Department of New York City is gearing up to intensify its crusade against food outlets selling food products and drinks laced with cannabidiol (CBD) by not only fining them but also the companies which continue to offer the said compound. The department has decided to issue infractions to food outlets starting October 1, 2019, for selling food products or drinks with traces of CBD. The regulators communicated this in an email addressed to local restaurant owners in New York City. According to the email, apart from being fined, violating this particular rule may even impact a restaurant’s letter grade. Cafes and restaurants using CBD rampantly Of late, cafes, bars, and restaurants in New York City have been rampantly selling CBD-laced beverages like coffee, cocktails, and food products. Extracted from either the cannabis or the hemp plant, the compound offers the soothing benefits of marijuana sans the psychoactive kick caused by the other active compound of marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Quoting safety concerns, the regulators have started coming down heavily on the eateries in the city. The health department prohibited a lot of business establishments like restaurants, cafes, and other food outlets earlier in January 2019, from adding the cannabis compound to food products and drinks. The health department then inspected some of the restaurants and instructed them to refrain from using the products, wherever found. It however, did not give them any instructions to either destroy or discard the products. Continuing this crusade, from July 1, 2019 the regulators are going to ask the food outlets to return the products to the supplier or discard them. This crackdown is likely to paralyze or slow down the fast-growing industry in the city. What does the law have to say? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is illegal to add CBD to any food items or drinks. The FDA is presently in the process of informing local businesses about this regulation in New York City. The department has also offered a learning period for the local businesses in order to be compliant with the regulations. Post the implementation of the $867 billion farm bill by the American President, Donald Trump, most CBD, derived from hemp, was legalized in December 2018. With this, industrial hemp was removed from the government’s list of banned substances and made a legally approved agricultural commodity. The FDA will hold the first public hearing in April 2019 to initiate the process of making the required laws to regulate the manufacturing, distribution and regulation of the newly legalized CBD compound. In the meantime, the FDA forbids companies from adding such substances to food and drinks. Referring to the FDA’s regulations, the New York Health Department has justified its enforcement. Presently, the department of health is working towards offering guidance and barring the addition of CBD to food products and drinks in resaurants. Seeking treatment for marijuana abuse Following its legalization, CBD, in the form of oils and supplements, has become widely available across the United States over the last couple of years. The trend is picking up and the new frontier now is food, with local restaurants offering CBD-laced edibles like cookies, chocolates, pizzas, smoothies, etc. This is just one of the examples of restaurants openly selling food and drinks laced with CBD, thereby increasing the risk of addiction to marijuana.