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C-B-Don't! NYC Health Officials Issue Crackdown on CBD Products as Craze Was Taking Off

What to Know

  • Just as the CBD craze was taking off in New York City, it has been grounded by the city’s Department of Health.
  • City health officials have started cracking down on restaurants, coffee shops and bars that sell food and drinks with CBD
  • CBD is a chemical compound in the cannabis plant closely related to tetrahydocannabinol, commonly known as THC

Just as the CBD craze was taking off in New York City, it has been grounded by the city’s Department of Health.

City health officials have started cracking down on restaurants, coffee shops and bars that sell food and drinks with the popular cannabis derivative called cannabidiol, known as CBD.

CBD is a chemical compound in the cannabis plant closely related to tetrahydocannabinol, commonly known as THC —the main component in marijuana. But unlike THC, CBD will not get you high. Some people even call it a miracle treatment used to treat anxiety, pain, inflammation, insomnia and several other ailments.

The owner of Fat Cat Kitchen says that during an inspection last week, officials confiscated about $1,000 worth of CBD edibles.

“I think that’s crazy. If it’s something that relaxes you and it’s natural, why not?” Manhattan resident Kristen Paladino said.

The reason, according to health officials, has to do with safety. In a written statement, the city’s Department of Health said: “Until cannabidiol (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”

Aaron Cook owns Three Seats Espresso coffee shop in the East Village, which sells CBD infused coffee. News of the Department of Health’s sudden crackdown has come as a surprise to him.

“At particularly coffee shops and cafes, people somewhat expect it now,” Cook said. “It’s become the normal as opposed to seek it out, they expect it when they walk in.”

On Wednesday, News 4 found restaurants and cafes advertising CBD-infused food and drink all over the city and all of them are still selling it. Even the popular vegan restaurant chain By Chloe is selling CBD brownies. As of Wednesday, they were still on sale. 

Lou Sagar runs The Alchemist’s Kitchen, which sells CBD oils and topicals. While he’s an advocate for CBD, he understands the Department of Health’s approach when it comes to CBD in food.

“If that CBD has not been tested and dosage not clear, you could be putting the consumer at risk,” Sagar said, adding: “I just hope it’s a good wake up call, but that we don’t go on a witchhunt.”

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