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New York City Department of Health Begins Embargoing CBD Food and Beverages

As of July 1, 2019, the New York City Department of Health (DOH) started embargoing cannabidiol (CBD) food and beverage products. The DOH is basing this enforcement policy on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current position that it is unlawful to add CBD to food or beverages. The DOH asserts that it will embargo the CBD-infused food and beverage products sold by NYC restaurants, street vendors, other food service establishments, and retailers. Any embargoed products will be required to be discarded or returned to the supplier. It remains to be seen how extensive the DOH’s enforcement efforts will be and whether it will be equally applied to food service establishments and retailers alike.

Starting October 1, 2019, the DOH will begin issuing violations to NYC food service establishments and retailers offering CBD-containing food and beverages. The DOH has stated that failing to follow the new regulations may lead to fines. For food service establishments, the violations may also count toward a food establishment’s letter grade.

If you have any questions related to the regulation of CBD food and beverage products or any other cannabis-related questions, please contact me at ssspangler@norris-law.com.