NYC Restaurants Ordered To Stop Serving CBD-Infused Drinks

By Sharelle Burt


The marijuana business is booming. And while the laws in some states are becoming less and less strict, making it easier for businesses to flourish, other states aren’t feeling it.

The state of New York is putting a stop on businesses adding CBD, or cannabidiol, to food and drinks. The substance that comes from a cannabis plant is supposed to bring a sense of calming to patrons, giving the same benefits of marijuana, without the high. New York City’s health department isn’t buying it and started cracking down on restaurants in the city last month. So far, eight restaurants have been ordered to stop. Officials said CBD wasn’t approved as a safe product for consumers. “The Health Department takes seriously its responsibility to protect New Yorkers’ health,” a health department spokeswoman said. “Until cannabidiol is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”

RELATED: Best Black-Owned Marijuana Businesses Across The U.S.

The new regulations are putting a damper on the cannabis business. Eric Cahan, co-owner of Mamacha, said he has already started pulling the CBD-based food and drinks from the menu, which is difficult since the brand specializes in CBD matcha tea. He also pulled CBD cookies, chocolates and seltzer from his shelves. “It’s weird because it feels like the health department is against small businesses,” Cahan said. “Don’t they want us to do well and continue? Why would they not want us to? It feels arbitrary and ridiculous.”

It’s also a hassle because it is rightfully legal. President Trump made it legal after signing the Farm Bill last year. Some insiders looked at it as a positive thing to help the industry, but the FDA banning adding the product to foods and drinks was always a possible hurdle. The main ingredient in CBD is Epidiolex, an FDA-approved drug used to treat severe childhood epilepsy.

The NYC health department only places an embargo on CBD products, meaning businesses don’t have to remove or destroy them, restaurants just can’t use CBD. So Cahan is selling drinks and CBD oil separately from his store, offering a two-day dose kit for $12. Customers can mix it in on their own.

Travel Noire

Sharelle Burt

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

JFK Runway Will Close For Eight Months. Here’s What Travelers Can Expect.

JFK Runway Will Close For Eight Months. Here’s What Travelers Can Expect.

A new paving project at one of the busiest airports in the United States is expected to cause travel delays that could last through the year. Travelers flying through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport should prepare for a slow down after officials announced that one of its four runways will be closed until […]

Parker Diakite

Best Summer Festivals In New York City

Best Summer Festivals In New York City

The weather’s warming up a bit in New York City which means summer is almost here. Get ready for mid-day brunches, day parties and outdoor concert series in the park by some of your favorite artists from across the world. Here are some of the best festivals in New York City to attend this summer. […]

Rachel George

The Most Beautiful Airbnbs In New York City

The Most Beautiful Airbnbs In New York City

New York City is known for its warehouse artist lofts that are often renovated into stunning, livable homes with modern design, high ceilings, and ample natural light. Here are some of the most beautiful loft options on Airbnb. Beautiful Sun-filled Loft in Prime Williamsburg One of the most popular areas in Brooklyn, Williamsburg is full […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin