Long before adult-use cannabis consumption became legal in California on January 1, CBD cocktailswere incredibly popular throughout Los Angeles. But a recent look shows that these cocktails have almost disappeared from the LA landscape, while Southern California health departments and restaurants determine how to manage shifts in the policy landscape.
Most Los Angeles bars and restaurants likely reconsidered their approach after California’s Department of Health took a strong anti-cannabis stance in July, and/or after Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 2914 in late-September, which outlaws the sale of cannabis mixed with alcoholic beverages. Bars and restaurants must adhere to this very specific legislation, or risk losing a coveted liquor license. As a result, most LA business owners quickly eliminated CBD cocktails from their menus, even though AB 2914 doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2019.
In the wake of AB 2914, several “get CBD cocktails while you can” lists popped up throughout the interwebs, but many of the mentioned businesses have removed any mention of CBD cocktails from menus in recent weeks. Early CBD cocktail trailblazers like Gracias Madre and Pattern Barremoved them soon after AB 2914 was passed, along with Otium and Broken Shaker. For now, it appears that the only bars serving CBD with alcohol are Bluebird Brasserie, ETA, and Prank Bar — although Prank Bar is using a bit of a loophole by serving cocktails with terpenes, the essential oils inside the cannabis plant.
Locally, health departments have shaped their own policies. Earlier this year, Orange County Public Health warned a Costa Mesa cafe to stop serving CBD in drinks, or face fines; the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is taking a slightly less punitive approach. David Chun is Chief Environmental Specialist for the County Health Department, and advocates an educational approach during the restaurant and bar inspection process:
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Published: November 12, 2018