You may have read that the NYC Hospitality Alliance has been asking for the Department of Health (DOH) to issue guidance on the practice of restaurants and bars using Cannabidiol (CBD) as an additive in food and drinks, a growing national trend with major consumer demand. This comes after multiple inquiries about its use went unanswered and DOH began issuing violations to businesses and embargoing product containing CDB.
DOH has finally issued the below guidance, which we are investigating. Thanks in large part to The Alliance’s counsel Rob Bookman, DOH will not embargo products or issue violations for CBD until later this year, which is the education first, fine last regulatory approach we’ve requested. They have also withdrawn the violations they did issue earlier this month.
In related news, NYC Council Speaker recently stated that he thinks DOH overreacted in their enforcement and ban and said, “I want to hear what the Health Department wants to do to correct this given the science, and if they refuse to do so, the Council is willing to look at this issue legislatively.”
Statement from DOH on Cannabidiol (CBD) Is Prohibited in Food and Drink
In December 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement clarifying its position on cannabis-derived products. The FDA stated that it is unlawful to add CBD to food or drink. As a result, the Health Code also prohibits adding CBD to food or drink.
The Health Department is currently educating food service establishments that CBD is prohibited from being added to food and drink, and to stop offering these products. Beginning July 1, 2019, if operators have not voluntarily come into compliance, the Health Department will embargo food and drink products that contain CBD—the products will have to be returned to the supplier or discarded. Starting October 1, 2019, the Health Department will begin issuing violations to food service establishments for offering food or drink containing CBD. Violations may be subject to fines as well as violation points that count toward the establishment’s letter grade.
For more information on CBD in food or drink, please visit the FDA website:
We will update you on our enforcement of this product if the FDA updates its guidance.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance will keep you informed of new developments. You may also want to read this op-ed published by an Alliance member titled, Marijuana, yes. CBD no? City’s senseless cannabidiol crackdown.