Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, or chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive and won’t get you high.
A number of products — oils, lotions, soaps and edible gummies — incorporate CBD, and it can be consumed via oral tinctures and vape cartridges.
With the passage of the Farm Bill in December 2018, which made hemp — a type of cannabis sativa plant with a THC concentration of .3 percent or less — legal in the United States, it is largely understood that CBD, extracted from hemp, also is legal across the country.
“New York has maintained that CBD is legal,” said attorney Nikolas Komyati, the head of the cannabis group at Bressler, Amery & Ross.
Under the Farm Bill, it also is legal to buy hemp-derived CBD online and ship it, said Jonathan Miller, the general counsel at the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
That legal status applies to CBD products that have a THC concentration of .3 percent or less. So how do consumers trust that their favored product adheres to the standard? One of the biggest challenges the nascent industry faces is proving how CBD has been extracted, as the product isn’t regulated by any governmental entity.
Increased interest in CBD-infused products, however, has spurred the Food and Drug Administration to schedule a hearing on May 31 to discuss regulation.
What about food and drinks with CBD?
Though some bars and restaurants in the city have put CBD-infused items on their menus, New York has banned selling food and drinks with CBD.
“The Health Department is currently educating food service establishments and retailers that CBD is prohibited from being added to food and drink, and to stop offering these products,” a notice on the NYC department’s website says.
Beginning in October, the health department will issue violations to establishments offering food or drinks containing CBD, the notice says.
Once the FDA establishes a framework to regulate CBD products, New York’s position could change.
“We think the ultimate outcome is that (the FDA is) going to permit CBD to be used as a dietary supplement or a food additive, but it will be regulated,” Miller said. “One possibility is that they’ll say that you’re only allowed to use a certain number of milligrams of CBD in a particular product.”
Where are CBD products sold in New York City?
CBD products are sold in health-food stores and smoke shops, as well as online. CVS has started selling CBD products in some states, but not in New York.