By Dane Larsen | @_danebailey
Lobbyists in the Department of Health for New York City are pushing for a change to the existing laws pertaining to cannabidiol-laced substances. The law proposed earlier in February would bar any restaurants or food retailers from selling CBD-laced substances. These laws deem CBD-laced substances unsafe for the citizens of NYC.
What is CBD?
Despite the success of the 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Trump this past year, CBD still has a significant negative connotation to it. The passed bill separated marijuana from hemp. It also classifies CBD as a form of hemp, stating that it has potential marketable and scientific benefits. Along with this, the US Drug Enforcement Agency made the decision this past September to reclassify CBD from a Schedule I substance (on par with heroin), down to Schedule V as long as the THC levels do not exceed .1%.
CBD is a chemical compound that is nonintoxicating and non-psychoactive, derived from THC found in marijuana. The uses of CBD have been noted by users to relieve pain and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Along with this, medical professionals have noticed a correlation between marijuana or CBD users and mitigated cancer-related symptoms. However, there is a lack of evidence to either prove or disprove this claim.
The Department of Health in NYC sees it best fit to carry out regulations against these CBD-laced foods. Regardless of the progression of society in the movement of decriminalization. In question 13 about federal guidance, on the FDA National website, officials stated that the effects on the human body have not been fully examined, but the conclusion at the moment is that CBD is “not safe as a food additive”. This almost directly contradicts the recent acts that push for legalization of CBD. The rescheduling and reclassification of CBD indicate a push towards legalization.
Effect of Regulation on NYC Businesses
The Department of Health shut down a total of five restaurants. The Fat Cat Kitchen, have voiced their discontent for the new laws that set their business model up for failure. New York Eater conducted an interview with Co-owner C.J. Holmes in which she stated that the DOH confiscated $1,000 worth of CBD laced edibles and baking products with no explanation, throwing them into a plastic bag labeled “embargoed”. “They couldn’t even intelligently explain to me exactly what the problem was when I spoke to them on the phone.”
With public outcry in the city, ratification for CBD products in NYC is not out of the realm of possibility. Owners like Holmes and CBD enthusiasts alike see this case being brought to the forefront of NYC politics in the near future, to question the claims and actions of the New York City Department of Health.
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