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The CBD Crackdown Has Begun

A bartender at the restaurant Gracias Madre in West Hollywood mixes a CBD cocktail.DAMIAN DOVARGANES / AP

If you like cannabidiol cupcakes and live in New York City, it’s time to learn how to bake your own. The city’s health department confirmed in a statement Tuesday that it had begun a crackdown on restaurants that use the compound—better known as CBD—as a food additive, embargoing product and warning of fines to come. In doing so, New York becomes the first major American city to begin enforcement on CBD’s questionably legal but enormously popular use in prepared food and drink. Until now, NYC consumers could find CBD in a wide range of products, including brownies, lattes, cocktails, and empanadas.

“Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat,” according to a New York City Department of Health spokesperson. “Until cannabidiol (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.” Eater reports that five restaurants in the city have been visited by the DOH and issued CBD embargoes so far, but because of the compound’s explosive popularity in the past year, scores more could be affected. Starting in July, restaurants that violate the ban could be subjected to fines of up to $650, according to the New York Post.

Even though New York City’s intent to enforce its food-additive restrictions wasn’t announced ahead of time, it’s hardly a surprise that regulatory agencies are stepping in to mediate how CBD is sold. The compound can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants, and while industrial hemp cultivation was made legal in the United States in late 2018, the Food and Drug Administration has made clear that for regulatory purposes, it will treat CBD the same no matter which plant it comes from. The agency considers both illegal as additives in consumer food products, even if it hasn’t announced any specific plans for its own enforcement.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Amanda Mull on The Atlantic

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Published: February 06, 2019

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