New York Considers Allowing Pizza Joints and Other Eateries to Sell Cannabis-Infused Foods

New York state officials have been discussing whether or not they should allow pizzerias and other eateries to sell cannabis-infused edibles—whether freshly made or pre-packaged.

Confirming these discussions is Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesman for the state Office of Cannabis Management. As he said, “the regulations regarding infused food products have not been released yet.” Leaving much room for different possibilities.

While cannabis was legalized in New York last year, licensed dispensaries will not open up until the fall of this year. The state has spent a lot of time working out the logistics of its industry with a keen understanding that it will be one of the biggest in the country.

State Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), an important figure in developing New York’s cannabis laws, has mentioned that allowing eateries to use cannabis was not a “hot topic” when working on the bill. However, in accordance with the bill’s writing, it’s also not prohibited.

As you can imagine, many in the New York pizza industry are looking toward the economic potential of selling products such as cannabis-infused pies. In fact, some pizzerias have already been connecting with marijuana suppliers and experimenting around with mixing cannabis oils in tomato and pesto sauces.

Of course, lawmakers have their concerns. One of the most notable is that pizza is a favorite among children. Even though nobody under the age of 21 would be allowed to purchase cannabis-infused pizza, there’s some chance it may accidentally end up in the hands of children.

Still, it can be argued that such problems should be handled by parents rather than lawmakers. Children also love candy and in legal states, there are plenty of cannabis-infused gummies, chocolates, and more. Yet, the rate of children accidentally eating these is exceptionally low—and when it does occur, it’s the fault of an adult not storing it away properly.

Other Problems Facing Cannabis Sales in Pizza Eateries

Another issue lawmakers are discussing is how to properly label cannabis in foods such as pizza. This can be tricky, especially when incorporating cannabis oils into freshly-made pies. While you certainly can get an idea of how many milligrams (mg) is going into a single slice, the average person isn’t going to be aware of how much of a dosage is right for them.

This is especially true if cannabis-infused pizza becomes a popular item among tourists. As we saw in Colorado when cannabis was first legalized, legal marijuana led to a rise in emergency room visits. Many of which were from tourists who had no idea how to properly dose themselves with cannabis.

Beyond this, there have been discussions about denying businesses from having both a liquor and cannabis license. As you can imagine, this isn’t an ideal circumstance for most restaurants.

Still, we need to wait and see on regulations before this conflict is confirmed.

Furthermore, since cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, some question how much insurance companies would be willing to get involved with eateries that allow for cannabis-infused edibles.

For example, a customer may attempt to sue a pizzeria if they experienced an “illness” or “bad trip” due to the consumption of a cannabis-laced pizza slice. In such cases, it remains unclear how insurance companies would handle the situation and whether or not they’d provide the costs of litigation.

Cannabis-infused foods are a tricky topic with a lot of legal obstacles. If New York can find a way to manage allowing eateries to allow them, there’s no denying it will have huge potential for the economy of the city. But until regulations are made, all of this remains nothing more than talk.


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