The NYC Hospitality Alliance has received questions from many members about the use of Cannabidiol “CBD” in food and drinks.
In response to these questions, for some time now, we’ve requested official guidance from the NYC Department of Health “DOH” about the legal requirements of using CBD as an ingredient. Despite our repeated requests, no official guidance has been provided.
So, you can imagine how unhappy we were to read that DOH embargoed a restaurant’s pastries used CBD as an additive.
This aggressive enforcement is another example of New York City’s regulatory approach: issue fines first, and educate last. Issuing a violation for using CBD in food and drink is especially ironic to happen when New York is seriously considering legalizing marijuana. Enough is enough. The city must stop finding ways to fine our city’s small businesses.
We call on Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to pass legislation requiring all agencies that regulate restaurants and nightlife establishments to review all of the violations they issue. They should then identify violations that don’t pose an imminent hazard to the public and provide warnings and cure periods for those violations before issuing a fine. They should also pass a law that would prohibit city agencies from issuing violations if they do not have a clear policy established on a matter, such as the use of CBD.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance will continue to push DOH to issue clear guidelines on the use of CBD and we will keep you informed.