CBD-Infused Foods Getting More Popular in NYC Amid FDA Crackdown

July 02, 2019

CBD-Infused Foods Getting More Popular in NYC Amid FDA Crackdown

The Food and Drug Administration is against the sale of CBD-infused food and drinks. In fact, the FDA is conducting a massive crackdown and penalizes restaurants for selling CBD-infused foods and beverages. However, this has not stopped NYC restaurants like Fresh&Co. from offering cannabidiol-infused foods days before the April 20 marijuana holiday.

A representative for Fresh&Co. said this move is a "window of opportunity to offer a healthier variant of CBD-infused food items." The restaurant chose pure CBD, which does not contain THC.

“Although we do not agree with the New York health department ban in CBD products in food use, we understand that this is too new on a consumer level and difficult to regulate,” the restaurant’s spokesperson said.

In Fresh&Co.'s menu are different types of salads with hemp, hemp cakes, pastries, and pasta dishes with hemp. Some of their food include Half-Baked Salad made with hemp cakes, mixed hemp greens, sea beans, red onion, carrots, beets, crispy onions, jalapeno skhug (a Middle Eastern green harissa sauce), and CBD-infused ginger cashew aioli for $11.95; Blazed Beet Sandwich made with hemp cakes, mixed hemp greens, sea beans, red onion, radish, jalapeno skhug, and CBD-infused ginger cashew aioli served on beet bread for $10.95 among others.

Hemp and CBD may not have received approval yet from the FDA, but New York City has granted a "grace period" for restaurant operators and food suppliers to sell CBD-infused foods and drinks in their menu until July 1.

Health officials will consider it as a violation or noncompliance if restaurants like Fresh&Co. continue serving CBD-infused foods in their restaurant until October 2019.

Aside from restaurants, sports drink companies are also eyeing the potential of making CBD-infused sports wellness drinks.

CannTrust Holdings has started its line of CBD-infused drinks with Brewbudz™ which is said to be “a single serve cannabis-infused coffee and tea brewing pod technology." This product has already been patented in North America and Australia but is only currently available in Nevada.

PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. also has a range of flavored drinks like Wild Cherry, Cola, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Lemonade and Iced Coffee through its new Brain Chill Slushy Machines. These drinks contain 100mg of high-quality, full-spectrum CBD extract.

There are also restaurant chains that sell CBD-infused burgers and other food in the menu, in response to a strong customer demand. With the current demand of CBD-infused food items, we could see a fast turnaround of regulations regarding CBD.

In February, the FDA’s outgoing commissioner Scott Gottlieb hinted that the agency might give a go signal to CBD-infused foods and drinks. At that time, he announced that the FDA "might eventually" allow this, but with restrictions such as the restaurants using the diluted forms of the compound. Nevertheless, Gottlieb warned that coming up with a solution is "not a straightforward process" and may take a long time.

The FDA announced last week that it will hold a public hearing on May 31 regarding products that contain cannabis compounds, especially CBD.




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