Not too long ago, the growing popularity of CBD among cafes made us assume that CBD infused food is here to stay. Not any longer for places like the Brooklyn based Caffeine Underground where you can find customers opting for CBD foods and beverages, whose price typically ranges from $6 upwards, at least 3-4 times every week.
Owner Ian Ford said that Caffeine Underground was the first coffee shop in NYC to come out with CBD infused drinks, and ever since, their business has improved significantly. However, this is not to last as New York City’s health department has put their foot down on bars and eateries which sell food or drinks containing CBD. According to Ian Ford, “People are buying this product because it helps them get through their day. Now I don’t know what’s going to happen.” It’s not just Ian, many café owners and other establishments that sell such fare have been asked to cease using CBD in their food and drinks.
Many are confused as it’s actually legal to buy CBD and consume it in other forms like oils, vapes but considered illegal to add it to drinks and food. According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, they are ordering all restaurants and establishments to avoid adding CBD to food and drinks as they feel it’s unsafe to consume. They have a list of 11 restaurants that have been ordered not to use CBD as an additive. According to a statement released by them,
“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 (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”
It’s not just NYC
New York City is not the only one controlling the use of CBD in food and drink. Even states like Maine and Ohio are also barring the sale of food products containing the chemical. According to experts, unlike THC, the main component in marijuana, CBD doesn’t get people high. It is seen as a remedy for anxiety, insomnia, pain and a host of other ailments even by celebrities like Mandy Moore. The federal Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever CBD drug to treat epilepsy in June last year. But they insist that CBD cannot be sold as a dietary supplement or in food
The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration considers cannabis a banned Schedule 1 drug even though marijuana is legal in states like California and Massachusetts.
The crackdown is a result of a recent study which found many manufacturers are cashing in on the CBD craze by pushing products without CBD and claiming they are. Many contain smaller doses or hardly any CBD at all.
Back at Caffeine Underground, Ford has called the city Health Department, but so far, “I’m not getting any answers.” Let’s hope they come up with an amicable solution which is beneficial for all.