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Weed pasta
Photograph: Shutterstock

Cannabis-infused foods may soon appear on NYC menus

New York State officials are reportedly looking into the matter.

Anna Rahmanan
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Anna Rahmanan
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Pesto pot pizza, anyone? 

The New York Post reports that New York State officials are looking into potentially letting restaurants around the state serve cannabis-infused food items and "packaged pot edibles." We've clearly come a long way.

The changes are a direct result of a bill that legalizes the use of recreational marijuana. Although the measure passed last year, the first licenses to sell the stuff are scheduled to be distributed this upcoming fall while sales in stores are expected to begin by the end of 2022.

Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesman for the state Office of Cannabis Management, tells the Post that "there have been discussions about awarding such licenses to food preparers [however] the regulations regarding infused food products have not been released yet." To put it simply, the state is likely okay with your neighborhood joint serving weed-infused tomato sauce on your pasta, but it would like to set up some guidelines before letting chefs run amok.

Weed pizza
Photograph: Shutterstock

Cannabis-infused fare isn't an entirely new concept, of course, but if current laws are to be considered, it won't be so easy for local restaurants to start benefiting from the new line of business.

According to current laws, New Yorkers under the age of 21 are not allowed to purchase weed—so eateries offering the infused products would have to check on their customers' age. Whether those under the age of 21 will even be allowed on premise is another point that needs to be ironed out. How much cannabis each dish can feature should also be considered.

More factors are at play, according to the Post, including the fact that weed is still illegal on a federal level and the law that prohibits folks who obtain a license to sell cannabis from also having a liquor license and vice versa. 

Although legal marijuana sales officially began just across the Hudson, in New Jersey, last week, it's clear that things are still in flow across both states. A representative for the National Cannabis Industry Association told the Post, for example, that New Jersey has not yet released any guidance on weed-infused licenses when it comes to local restaurants. 

Things are, of course, moving forward but, just like any other major changes, we'll probably have to wait a few years to figure out where the local government stands on all details.

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