The crackdown comes as CBD continues to grow in popularity around the country
New York City’s health department has ordered restaurants to stop selling foods and drinks containing CBD, a compound found in cannabis plants.
On Wednesday, customers at Manhattan’s Fat Cat Kitchen bakery and restaurant couldn’t buy a favorite chocolate-filled cookie that included CBD — which doesn’t make people high, but the health agency said it hadn’t been deemed safe as a food additive by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
New York is the first big city to enforce the federal government’s ruling that the cannabidiol — as CBD is scientifically called — should not be added to foods. And health officials started to crack down on New York food establishments last month, saying it has not been approved as a safe product for consumers.
In New York’s Fat Cat Kitchen, CBD-infused offerings have been the top-selling items, mixed into brownies, marshmallows, honey and coffee.
Until CBD is deemed safe as a food additive, the department is ordering eateries not to offer products containing the derivative.
“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,” the department said in a statement.
Some states where marijuana is legal for either medical or recreational uses have recently ordered businesses to remove CBD-infused foods from stores.
In Maine, state health officials recently ordered businesses to remove CBD-infused edibles from stores.
In Ohio, authorities also have been cracking down on businesses selling products with CBD.
In December, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated his agency’s position that CBD is a drug ingredient and therefore illegal to add to food or health products without approval from his agency.
The component has been touted as a possible remedy for anxiety, pain and other ailments.
“Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective,” Gottlieb wrote.
There is only one FDA-approved drug containing CBD — for the treatment of seizures. It contains cannabis-derived CBD. GW Pharmaceuticals’ syrup became the first prescription drug derived from the cannabis plant in June 2018.