New York City’s health department has reportedly ordered restaurants to stop serving products that contain cannabidiol (CBD) on the grounds that the compound has not been approved as safe for use in food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. City inspectors have apparently marked CBD products as embargoed during routine inspections but have not confiscated the products from the restaurants. Maine’s state health authorities reportedly began a similar crackdown on edible products containing CBD in late January, informing retailers that the compound is an unapproved food additive. The health departments’ actions do not affect CBD sold in non-food products such as in oil or lotion, according to Eater.

Industrial hemp, CBD’s source, has faced similar regulatory confusion following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp as an agricultural product. An Idaho federal court has determined that when hemp can be transported between states remains unresolved. Big Sky Scientific LLC v. Idaho State Police, No. 19-0040 (D. Idaho, entered February 2, 2019). Denying a motion for a temporary restraining order allowing the hemp to pass from Idaho to Colorado, the court found that the Farm Bill seems to require the establishment of state regulatory frameworks for hemp before the product can cross state lines.

For more information about cannabis-related legal issues, please contact Shook Partner Katie Gates Calderon.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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