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New York City Launches Crackdown On CBD In Food, Drinks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Hold the CBD.

That's the message from the New York City Department of Health.

The marijuana derivative is believed to relax consumers without making them high.

In a statement, it directed restaurants and cafes to stop serving cannabidiol - an extract from the cannabis plant - with their food.

"Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat. The Health Department takes seriously its responsibility to protect New Yorkers' health. Until cannabidiol (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the Department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD," the Health Department said in a statement.

The FDA established the ban in late December, and the Health Department says it began issuing warning at the beginning of the year as part of routine inspections.

Web Extra: Dr. Max Gomez Reports On CBD 

At the Flower Power Coffee Shop, owner Dorothy Stepnowska took down her menu and cleared out her most popular items.

"My main product I was selling was CBD. I had lattes, cappucinos, espressos, ice tea. Now I have to pull everything off my menu," Stepnowska told CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

So far, only five restaurants have been issued orders not to include CBD in their products, though the supplement seems to be gaining in popularity.

On its own, CBD is legal to sell.

CBD is one of many compounds derived from cannabis. Another is THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Unlike TCH, pure CBD products won't produce a euphoric effect.

Drake University Clinical Sciences Chair Tim Welty said it's difficult to know how well the supplements work. There are limited studies suggesting CBD may help with epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, acne, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

"Basically, a lot of people don't want to get high so they turn to CBD. That's where they can get the benefits without getting high," Stepnowska said. "So I actually just lost about $6,000 overnight."

The directive disappoints customers like Ted Grabowski, who likes CBD in his coffee as a way to relax.

"It's not right. People have brand new opportunities, let them try it out. Don't go and stop them," Grabowski said.

"I'm waiting for the Health Department to give us some kind of direction because right now we don't know what to do. We don't know how to go about this," Stepnowska said.

Stepnowska says she can continue selling other CBD products. She has oils, coffee, and honey.

The new rules completely change what she can make in the store.

On July 1, the Health Department will begin issuing violations. Fines could range from $200-$650.

For more information about marijuana and CBD from the FDA, click here.

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