New York’s new rules for CBD: Food and drink OK, but not with alcohol or tobacco
New York state has issued new rules that will make it legal to manufacture and sell foods and drinks infused with CBD or other hemp extracts.
You can eat it or drink it, just not in a product that also contains alcohol or tobacco. You can vape it, but you can’t smoke the “flower” in a cigarette. You can use it in a dietary supplement or salve, but you can’t inject it, inhale it or use it in a skin patch.
These are among the new rules set out this week by New York state for the manufacture, sale and use of extracts from hemp, most notably the popular compound known as CBD, touted for its health benefits.
The rules, which have been eagerly awaited by the state’s cannabis industry for almost a year, create what are likely the strictest guidelines in the country for making and selling of CBD and other hemp extracts.
For the consumer, the biggest change is a clarification in the murky rules on edible and drinkable CBD. Since last summer, state regulators have declared CBD to be illegal in food or drink, but some products, especially those made out of state, have still made it to the shelves.
The new rules were set by the State Department of Health based a bill signed into law late last year. In addition to the ban on CBD and other extracts in alcoholic beverages, they include:
· No CBD product can be sold if it contains more than 0.3% THC (that’s the psychoactive agent that creates the “high” in marijuana, a relative of hemp).
· No individual food or beverage product can contain more than 25 miligrams of hemp-extracted cannabinoids per serving. (In supplements such as salves or tinctures, the product can contain up to 3,000 miligrams).
· Food and drink infused with CBD and other hemp extracts must be packaged by the manufacturer. Extracts cannot be added at the retail level (so a bakery, for example, can’t add them to a batch of brownies).
· CBD-infused products can’t be advertised or labeled as curing any specific diseases or ailments.
The new rules are welcome news for companies like Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in LaFayette, which last year produced a CBD-infused Cold Brew Coffee but had to pull it from the shelves when state officials declared it illegal.
Now, Beak & Skiff will be ready to roll out the CBD coffee and a CBD Seltzer as soon as the new rules take effect, perhaps as soon as January, said company president Eddie Brennan. (Neither product contains alcohol).
“This is great news for Beak & Skiff as we prepare to enter that category (CBD),” Brennan said. Beak & Skiff earlier this year opened a Hemp House specifically designed to process hemp extract for its own products and for other companies.
“This is a great first step for a part of our business that we hope to grow in the future,” Brennan said.
For the state’s cannabis industry as whole, the rules set out procedures for growing and manufacturing and obtaining and paying for licenses. Those standards exceed those in most other states.
But most of New York’s roughly 700 hemp growers and many of its 100 or so processors welcome the rules. The New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association lobbied for regulations that would make the state the standard-setter in the industry.
“This is the clear path going forward that we were hoping for, for the most part,” said Allan Gandelman, owner of Head + Heal, a Cortland hemp grower and processor and the president of the NYGPA.
The only major concern in the regulations is the ban on direct sale of hemp flower from farmers to consumers, which would have been a benefit to small growers, Gandelman said. “That’s one we weren’t expecting,” he said.
The NYGPA and its members have said they welcome the regulations in general to eliminate the “Wild West” atmosphere that has run through the market in recent years, particularly on the retail side.
“I think this is the strictest set of regulations in the country, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Kaelan Castetter, a cannabis entrepreneur who grows hemp and has a processing company in Binghamton. “It legitimizes the marketplace, and may help to clean out the bad actors.”
Initially, it may have the consequence of forcing many small processors to stop production in New York, he said. “In the short term, the fees and the compliance standards are going to create a burden for small companies,” he said.
Both Gandelman and Castetter believe that in the long run it will create a bigger, stronger cannabis/hemp/CBD industry in New York.
“It will eliminate a lot of the uncertainty and gray areas we’ve had until now,” Gandelman said. “Companies will be to invest knowing there are some solid guidelines to follow.”
The two sponsors of the hemp extracts bill on which the new rules are based, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Binghamton and State Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Middletown, issued this statement today:
“With these regulations, we have the ability to create a consumer-friendly, national model,” Lupardo and Metzger said. “While we are still reviewing these regulations, we are happy with the inclusion of extracts in food and beverage.”
They also said they were concerned about the ban on the sale of hemp flower and encouraged people to participate in the 60-day public comment period. Comments will be taken by the Health Department through Jan. 11, 2021.
The new rules come a week after the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated it would once again call for the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults. Cuomo will try to get that passed in the 2021-2022 state budget, which takes effect April 1.
Efforts to legalize adult-use marijuana have failed in the past two years, although the state did pass a decriminalization law that eliminates charges for low-level possession.
New York’s new rules for CBD: Food and drink OK, but not with alcohol or tobacco New York state has issued new rules that will make it legal to manufacture and sell foods and drinks infused with
Is CBD oil legal in New York?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- New York CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in New York
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
CBD derived from hemp is available in New York, but is subject to strict regulations. The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets does not allow the addition of CBD to foods or beverages. CBD is, however, allowed to be manufactured and sold as a dietary supplement provided it makes no therapeutic claims. Hemp-derived CBD is also in New York legal when sold as a lotion, salve, or balm.
A comprehensive regulatory framework surrounding the licensing, manufacturing, sale and use of hemp and CBD was approved by the New York State Legislature in June 2019 and is currently awaiting signing from Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Only individuals who hold a valid New York State Medical Marijuana Program card can legally access CBD derived from cannabis. Medical cannabis has been legal in New York since 2014. Cannabis remains illegal for adult use in New York, although marijuana possession was decriminalized to an extent in August 2019. Penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana have been reduced, and those with existing possession convictions may have their convictions expunged.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. CBD is the second-most prominent cannabinoid in cannabis after THC, which has an intoxicating or psychoactive effect. CBD can be sourced from marijuana or hemp plants and has a wide range of purported therapeutic benefits, such as reducing pain, inflammation, and anxiety, and suppressing seizures. Since the cannabinoid has gained considerable attention for its therapeutic properties, more high CBD strains have recently been cultivated.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule 1, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
The 2018 Farm Bill re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, as long as it has been cultivated according to federal and state regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive. The FDA has already maintained that even hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement. Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of these stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its position against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.
In addition to federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may also regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently, even before the FDA finalizes its policies. New York is an example of a state that has devised its own regulatory framework for CBD, embracing some FDA directives while eschewing others.
New York CBD laws
In June 2019, the New York State Senate passed legislation which provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for hemp and CBD. Bill S6184A, also known as the Hemp Bill, will become enacted in thirty days once it has been signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Some more controversial aspects of the bill may be contested, however, which could delay its enactment.
Notable amendments in the June 2019 Hemp Bill include:
- The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are granted authority to regulate the production, processing, packaging, and labeling of hemp extract products sold in New York State.
- Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers selling cannabis products derived from hemp must apply for a cannabinoid permit.
- The sale of beverages containing 20 milligrams of CBD per 12 ounces is permitted, but only if the hemp extract was grown, extracted, and manufactured in the state of New York.
- The sale of out-of-state hemp extract intended for human and animal consumption is prohibited, unless it meets New York standards and regulations, which will be promulgated in the future.
- All hemp extracts must be packaged and labeled according to New York Department of Agriculture and Markets standards and display a Supplement Fact panel where applicable, along with a QR code setting forth other relevant information. No product may advertise any therapeutic claims.
There is currently a lack of concrete regulations in New York while the Hemp Bill is awaiting approval from Governor Andrew Cuomo. At present, the New York State Departments of Health and Agriculture are implementing a catch-all enforcement strategy to prevent unlawful CBD products from being sold.
There is currently a lack of concrete regulations in New York while the Hemp Bill is awaiting approval from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD-infused food and beverages are prohibited in New York. Penalties for the sale of CBD-infused food and beverages include voluntary removal, seizure, or destruction of the product, a fine, and failing a health inspection. CBD-laced oils, lotions, salves, and other topical applications are legal for all. CBD oils and tinctures are also legal, but products cannot make therapeutic claims.
Licensing requirements for CBD
Presently, the only legitimate way to grow hemp in New York is by participating in the New York Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Those interested must apply to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, which costs $500. Approved applicants receive a Research Partner Agreement.
Licensing for hemp growers, manufacturers, extractors, and retailers will change under the 2019 Hemp Bill. The bill is yet to be enacted, but provides specific guidelines for growers, manufacturers, and extractors of industrial hemp. All applicants will have background checks performed to confirm they are of good moral character, and possess sufficient experience and competence to farm hemp.
Applicants must first obtain a license through the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. The license for cannabinoid extractors is the most comprehensive. Licenses will be renewed biannually, and licensed premises will be subject to random inspections.
Manufacturers and growers must contract with an independent laboratory approved by the commissioner for routine testing. The reports from testing must be made available to the Department.
New York CBD possession limits
There are currently no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD products in New York.
There are currently no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD products in New York. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Medical marijuana patients can legally possess a thirty-day supply of non-smokeable, non-edible, cannabis-derived CBD products.
Although cannabis was decriminalized to an extent in New York in August 2019, those who are found in possession of cannabis-derived CBD products may be subject to penalties.
Where to buy CBD in New York
CBD balms, salves, lotions, and tinctures can be purchased from small pharmacists, specialty stores, CBD storefronts, and vape stores. Food and beverage retailers may offer CBD products, but they are not legal.
CBD derived from marijuana is only available from a licensed dispensary.
Shopping online for CBD represents another option for purchase. Consumers can buy from a wide variety of online outlets for CBD products, read consumer reviews, and ship purchases to their homes.
Online shopping also offers the ability to gather detailed information about each product, compare different products and product types, and comparison shop for the best price. CBD brands often also have their own e-commerce shop, allowing you to purchase your desired CBD products straight from the source. Find out more about where to purchase CBD.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
The 2018 Farm Bill shifted the oversight of hemp and hemp-derived products from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA currently does not presently allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t yet provided regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.
Still, the agency warns that regulations in flux still require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Buyers should nonetheless approach CBD products with caution. Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
Is CBD oil legal in New York? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? New York CBD laws Where to