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Metro Detroit Health Departments Crack Down on CBD Food and Drink at Restaurants

Ale Mary’s and ChickP have removed the banned products from menus

Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Just as the market for CBD-infused food and drink was heating up at metro Detroit restaurants, city health departments have begun a crackdown on the products. Shortly after unveiling smoothie menu with an optional $5 CBD oil mix-in on Monday, Detroit Health Department officials told downtown falafel shop ChickP to stop serving the additive, WXYZ reports.

Ale Mary’s Beer Hall owner Nick Ritts also confirms that the Royal Oak restaurant has stopped serving cocktails using CBD-infused Sprig Sodas as a mixer due to a ban by the Oakland County Health Department. Restaurateur Matthew Buskard confirms to Eater that Bobcat Bonnie’s had a similar experience and was asked by officials to remove Sprig from its menu on Monday, February 11.

In a statement released on Tuesday, February 12, the Detroit Health Department confirmed that ChickP had “voluntarily agreed to stop offering” CBD oil on its menu during an inspection. “CBD Oil [...] is not an approved food additive by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” the city health department said. “According to the Michigan Food Law, unapproved food ingredients cannot be added to food that is sold at restaurants.”

Cannabidiol — or CBD in shorthand — is a trendy food and drink additive. The oil is a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis and hemp that’s often marketed as a relaxation and pain remedy, though there’s little proof at this point of its effectiveness. Michigan legalized CBD products for recreational use in January. Around that same time, CBD products — primarily Sprig Sodas — began surfacing on menus everywhere from Bobcat Bonnie’s to Bumbo’s. But as the health department points out, the FDA hasn’t yet ruled on its use as a food ingredient.

That’s, naturally, resulted in a lot of confusion for the restaurant industry. For example, Ritts told Eater in January that he had consulted his liquor and marijuana attorney, a distributor, and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before moving forward with the CBD cocktail menu. Eater has reached out to Ritts’ attorney for more information on the recent crackdown.

Reached by Eater, a representative for Sprig Sodas writes:

Local and municipal health departments are trying to follow FDA guidance on CBD and keep the public safe. We believe the FDA will acknowledge the widespread support for these products and provide a regulated path to hemp CBD as a dietary ingredient. The confusion and public frustration is unfortunate, but we’re confident it’s a short term issue and that the local bans will reverse.

Metro Detroit isn’t alone with its bans on CBD products. There are now reports of other CBD bans. New York’s Department of Health initiated a similar crackdown on CBD edibles in January, citing federal guidance. In Los Angeles-area restaurants experienced a similar wave of bans on CBD-infused food and drink last summer.

Michigan Health Departments Clamp Down On at Least Two Local Eateries for CBD-Infused Beverages [WXYZ]
Falafel Shop Starts Blending CBD Smoothies in Downtown Detroit [ED]
A Royal Oak Bar Is Now Mixing Mellow CBD-Laced Cocktails [ED]
Like Them or Not, Cannabis Drinks Will Be Huge in 2019 [E]


110 Clifford St., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Ale Mary's Beer Hall

316 South Main Street, , MI 48067 (248) 268-1939 Visit Website

Bobcat Bonnie's Ferndale

240 W 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale, MI Visit Website