City and state officials in New York, Maine and Ohio are suddenly cracking down on businesses that sell CBD-infused edibles and drinks. CBD itself doesn’t produce any narcotic effects, but regulatory authorities say that it cannot be sold outside of licensed dispensaries.
Reports of swift crackdowns began rolling in during the beginning of February. New York City-based Fat Cat Kitchen, for instance, was subject to a CBD raid on Feb. 1. Officials from the New York City Department of Health scooped up around $1,000 worth of CBD-infused edibles, marking them as “embargoed.”
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill was celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts across America as the end of hemp prohibition, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) insists that it remains illegal to sell cannabis- or hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement or as an ingredient in food. In addition, pharmacy groups like the Ohio Board of Pharmacy issued their own warnings to non-dispensary businesses that sell CBD products.
The New York City Department of Health confirmed that non-dispensary businesses like restaurants cannot legally sell items that are infused with cannabinoids, directing the blame on the FDA. “Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat,” a New York City Department of Health spokesperson told The Atlantic. “Until cannabidiol . . . is deemed safe as a food additive, the department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”
It’s going to create headaches for businesses that formed specifically with the intentions of selling CBD-infused products like Flower Power Coffee in Ridgewood, New York. Others have built their careers around creating CBD-infused foods and drinks, but it may not last long, by the look of things. The cannabis industry isn’t alone, however. Recently a fairly similar embargo was issued in New York that deemed activated charcoal products unsafe.