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.
Don Cazentre writes for NYup.com, syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Reach him at [email protected], or follow him at NYup.com, on Twitter or Facebook.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
© 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.
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