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States Crack Down On CBD In Drinks, Food

February 19, 2019

A number of states, including New York, Ohio, California, Maine, and Georgia, have begun to tighten restrictions or place outright bans on bars and restaurants offering CBD-enhanced drinks and food. Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is derived from the cannabis plant. It generally contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects, but has fallen into a murky area of the law. CBD comes from the hemp variety of cannabis, which is legal under federal law, but some states now argue that because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t officially approved it as a food additive, it has no place in restaurant and bars.

New York City’s Health Department issued a statement recently banning all on-premise CBD products, noting that the additive hasn’t been deemed safe for consumption. Proponents argue it has medical benefits, including a calming effect that helps people with anxiety and pain management. But city officials weren’t swayed. According to reports, New York City health officials are including CBD checks in their routine inspections and will start issuing fines of $200-$650 this summer for any on-premise business that continues to offer CBD.

Similarly, Ohio imposed an embargo on CBD products in recent weeks, citing a state law that prohibits the sale of CBD outside of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Meanwhile, officials in Maine have demanded the removal of CBD edibles from stores, citing the lack of FDA approval. And in California, a ban on CBD edibles has been reinforced because of the FDA situation. In addition, the Georgia state health department says that adding CBD to food or drinks is a health violation because it hasn’t been approved by the FDA.—Laura Pelner

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