New York City’s health department is cracking down on restaurants selling food and drinks that contain cannabidiol (CBD).
Although CBD products are legal to sell in New York, inspectors for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have begun confiscating and “embargoing” during inspections. Until CBD is deemed a safe food additive, the department is advising restaurant owners to remove CBD products from their menus.
“Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat. The Health Department takes seriously its responsibility to protect New Yorkers’ health. Until cannabidiol is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD,” a health department spokeswoman said.
Five businesses have been ordered by the health department to stop selling products containing CBD, although the department mentioned that the owners were allowed to keep the products. Medicinal CBD products are still allowed for sale in pharmacies.
Prior to the ban, New York City was seeing an increasing amount of bars and restaurants offer items containing CBD on the menu and it seemed like a new trend was born. One hotel in the city was even offering a CBD-infused room service menu to its guests.
The crackdown on CBD makes New York the first state to begin enforcement on the legal use of CBD. Beginning July 1, restaurants found violation of the ban could face a fine between $200 and $650, depending on the amount of CBD products found during inspection. The department said it would reach out to restaurants and alert them to the embargo.
“We are telling them they cannot provide this product to customers, and that we expect food service establishments to either return CBD-containing products to distributors, or discard them,” a DOH spokeswoman said.