Why are CBD Edibles Being Pulled Off Restaurants in Some Parts of the Country?

Across various parts of the country, health department officials are asking restaurants to voluntarily pull CBD-infused foods and drinks off menus.

The latest local and regional governments that have reportedly taken steps against CBD are New York City, California, Texas, and Ohio banning the substance from restaurants and retail stores.

For example, according to the New York City’s official government website, beginning July 1, New York City restaurants that don’t comply with the CBD ban voluntarily could be embargoed of their CBD products by the health department... and by October 1, officials “will begin issuing violations to restaurants and retailers for offering CBD-laced foods and drinks. Violations may be subject to fines as well as violation points that count toward the establishment’s letter grade.”

CBD, or cannabidiol, which derives from cannabis, doesn’t cause the psychoactive effects for the lack of enough THC—the compound that gives people the “high” sensation.

In fact, CBD proponents claim the substance is mainly used for its therapeutic benefits helping people relax, ease pain, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.

Despite the fact that not many studies have been done on cannabidiol in human trials, as pointed out by a recent New York Times article, we are seeing an immense amount of CBD products being sold across the country, with Walgreens as the latest retailer to announce plans to sell creams, patches, and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states.

So, why is it being pulled out of the restaurant space, specifically?

Although, the farm bill that was passed in December 2018 legalized industrial hemp in the U.S., this only means industrial hemp was removed from the controlled substance category. Anything that is put in foods and drinks has to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and, as of right now, CBD is not determined safe or effective for other health conditions aside from being an active ingredient in an approved drug that treats two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

The FDA regulations are something different and there’s a huge push from lawmakers to change this.

Since there is no federal law specifically addressing CBD-laced edibles, some states, like Colorado and Maine, have already attempted to clarify the status of the substance by passing laws allowing the addition of CBD to food, as reported by Reuters. California and Texas have introduced bi-partisan legislation to do the same, as reported by the Associated Press.

Last week, the FDA slated the first public hearing to take place May 31 to discuss how to regulate CBD food and beverage products.

In the meantime, here at Foodable, we are tracking the latest in this arena:

In a podcast episode of Chef AF, Chef Brandon Foster shares with us a personal anecdote about how CBD has positively affected a local farmer to The point where this person wanted to dedicate the rest of his available land to grow hemp for the CBD industry.

In an On Foodable Feature episode, our host Layla Harrison breaks down for our audience some of the CBD-infused products that have stood out from the rest.

And in a Barron Report podcast episode, we learned about Azuca— a company offering CBD and THC products ranging from edibles to sweet syrups.

We expect to continue hearing about ‘Culinary Cannabis’ and its impact on the restaurant business and society as a whole. so, stay tuned for more interesting content!

Westward Whiskey Provides An Airport Tasting Room Experience At PDX

On this episode of On Foodable Feature, our host Layla Harrison speaks with Thomas Mooney, co-owner and CEO of Westward Whiskey based out of Portland, Oregon.

This craft distillery is the largest on the West Coast and aside from having an oversized, in-house tasting room, it has created the first ever airport tasting room in Portland International Airport (PDX).

“Our tasting room at PDX airport has been a really great addition to our business and a fantastic way to connect with people who love whiskey and travel,” says Mooney.

With 20 million people visiting PDX a year, we can see why an airport tasting room makes sense!

Check out the video above to learn about the two spirits being featured—Westward American Single Malt Whiskey and Westward American Single Malt Oregon Stout Cask!

Why More Cafes are Making Coffee In-House



As the demand for artisan coffee is only increasing, more and more cafes are roasting their own blends of coffee instead of getting them from mass-produced coffee companies.

This has fueled the growth of coffee roasting co-ops, where coffee enthusiasts and coffee store owners can rent time to use roasting machines to make their own coffee blends.

“The visions and the goals of the coffee roasters and the visions and goals of a cafe or bakery owner didn’t always align,” said Paolo Maliksi, one of the owners of Regalia a coffee roasting co-op in Long Island Island. “We are here to make sure that anyone can come in and roast for whatever reason.”

Consumers are willing to pay more for a food product that is high-quality, sustainable, and locally sourced. This is driving the growth in the craft coffee industry.

This is inspiring big retail coffee brands to adapt as the market becomes more inundated with coffee options.

“Rabobank says roasting shops alone aren’t yet a major threat to Big Coffee, but as young consumers move away from traditional brands, that’s forcing the old guard to adapt. JM Smucker Co., for example, has rolled out a new line of coffee called 1850 intended to attract younger drinkers who wouldn’t think to pick up a pound of sister brand Folgers,” writes “CNBC.”

Craft coffee is becoming so much more accessible too.

When a café doesn’t want to invest in making its own beans, there are so many options on the market and coffee traders are now more flexible when it comes to selling smaller batches. Previously, coffee traders were sending shipments of 20-feet containers but now there are E-commerce marketplaces for specialty roasters.

“Smaller specialty roasters are forcing importers and traders to become more responsive. When people are buying smaller quantities of anything, I think they expect to buy them in the same way they buy stuff from Amazon or their online grocers. We are having to find new platforms and new approaches to sell to people the way they want to be sold to,” said Cory Bush, managing director of 32cup.

Read more about the rise in premium coffee brews at “CNBC.”

Speaking of coffee, we recently sat down with the director of sourcing and shared value at Intelligentsia Coffee and Allen Wang, founder & partner of Kung Fu Tea about how these companies are standing out from the rest in this saturated artisan beverage market.

Why are Coffee Chains Attractive to Franchisees?

Cold Brew Coffee |   Shutterstock

Cold Brew Coffee | Shutterstock

U.S. coffee drinkers have an average of three cups a coffee a day, according to the National Coffee Association and 51 percent of coffee drinkers in the U.S. drink gourmet coffee.

In Britain, 80 percent of the population visit coffee shops once a week, as reported by the Caffee Society. There has been significant growth in UK market.

In the U.S., over 50 percent of Starbucks chains are still corporate-owned. But this is not the case in the UK. where "Starbucks does operate a franchise model of operation and only about one in five Starbucks in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are company-run," writes "Forbes."

While Starbucks is still very much expanding, other gourmet chains like Costa Coffee are also on the rise.

Coffee shops offering unique brews and beverages are catering to today's adventurous consumers. Not to mention, consumers are willing to invest in premium coffee options– making the profit margins higher for operators.

"Coffee drinkers have also become much more sophisticated in their tastes - just stand and take a look at the menu in your local coffee shop next time you're there," writes "Forbes." "From different blends to added flavor shots, iced drinks to coffee beans with ethical provenance - this gives business owners not only more option to expand the range on offer without diluting the core product offering, but also means that consumers are willing to pay high prices for a premium coffee product and profit margins can be significant."

Unlike other restaurant chains, coffee franchises are often attractive to operators who are looking to own several stores because they all can be established in the same area.

"Find success with a first franchise branch and then it’s easy then to open more within a short distance and appoint managerial staff to run them. The reality is that most people won’t walk far for coffee. This then means that one franchise can quite realistically operate a number of franchise units within a relatively short geographical distance," writes "Forbes."

In a past episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron predicted that 2018 would be the year of coffee infusions and he was right. Watch the video below to learn more about how coffee chains with unique blends will be the ones that consumers gravitate to in this saturated market.

Starbucks is Opening More Reserve Bars in Canada

The Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks has quickly conquered the market with over 28,000 stores across the globe.

In February of 2017, the chain opened its first Starbuck Reserve, a luxury coffee store that takes the cafe experience to the next level, while serving rare and unique coffees.

After rolling out the first few stores, the coffee chain also said that it has plans to expand with over 1,000 Reserve stores.

"While our Roasteries are designed to be bold, educational environments, our Reserve store takes the best of coffee craft as well as artisan baking and layers in a marketplace-style customer experience creating a space that has both energy and moments of intimacy," Liz Muller, Starbucks senior vice president of Creative, Global Design and Innovation, in a press release.

Apparently, these Reserve stores are doing especially well in the Canadian market. There are already three Reserve Bars in Canada, two in Ontario and one in North York. These Reserve Bars usually feature elaborate decor and store designs. The newest Reserve in North York has a wraparound bar.

But coffee isn't the only thing on the menu. These bars feature much more food options than the traditional Starbucks chain like menu items chorizo mac and cheese and the pear and brie flatbread.

The company is planning to open more of these elevated coffee chains and they will be bigger than the first three Canadian stores. According to "Retail Insider," sources are saying that a large downtown Toronto location could be in the works, which would span more than one level and be more in line with big stores such as a new Reserve/Roastery location in Shanghai."

The biggest store will be opening this year and will have 43,000-square-feet and four floors. This massive Reserve store will be on Michigan Avenue in Chicago and will take up a whole acre of prime city real estate.

Learn more about the Starbucks Reserve stores and the new stores opening in Canada at "Narcity" now.

It makes sense that Starbuck Reserve Bars are taking off because the artisan coffee and tea market is booming. Consumers want beverages with unique origins. Check out the video below where Michael Sheridan, the director of Sourcing and Shared Value at Intelligentsia Coffee and Allen Wang, founder & partner of Kung Fu Tea talk about consumer beverage trends and how their brands are thriving in this saturated artisan drink market.