In the highly competitive inudstry of food and beverages, many players in the game, from private chefs, to fast food restaurants to coffee shops and bars, are trying to gain an edge by adding a new not-quite-legal special ingredient: CBD.
That’s according to the National Restaurant Association and the American Culinary Federation, which recently surveyed 650 chefs across the country about the top culinary trends of the year. 3 out of 4 said that CBD and cannabis is the hot trend of the year, as reported by CNBC.
Though hemp-derived CBD extract is somewhat legal after last year’s Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration currently prohibits the addition of CBD to either food or drink. That means that the biggest food trend of 2019 is very much against the law. But, in the words of Matthew McConaughey, “I see a lot of lawbreakers out there.”
Much of the CBD use in restaruants has been low key. If you live in a weed-progressive area, you’ve probably seen some small coffee shops and bars offering to add a few drops of CBD to your latte or your mocktail for somehwere around $5 – $10. However, there have also been more in your face examples of CBD cuisine this year, probably reaching its apex with Carl’s Jr.’s CBD burger, which was offered for one day only on 4/20.
CNBC reports that the New York City health department has ordered restaraunts to quit serving cannabis-infused food and drink. In Los Angeles, where licensed cannabis distribution is legal, the health department is docking points during inspections if a restauraunt mixes CBD into their menu.
Even in Canada, chefs who work with CBD have to live like outlaws. Though the country legalized cannabis last year, edibles and drinkables won’t be legal until this October. In the meantime, fancy private chefs are having down-low CBD dining parties in pop-up Airbnb rentals, advertised only on social media. Private chefs in legal U.S. states like Colorado and Washington have gone a similar route.
While all this flagrant lawbreaking is pretty fun, it may come to an end soon or soonish (or soonishishish). The FDA has scheduled a public hearing on the issue at the end of May.
Photo via Flickr user Marco Verch