The state of New York is considering passing a bill that would allow restaurants to sell marijuana-infused food and weed-infused edibles.
Following the decriminalization of recreational marijuana in New York in 2021, discussions are underway to grant the first licenses to sell marijuana-infused food. Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Management, said the licenses would be authorized by the end of 2022, reported the New York Post.
The foods made with marijuana are pesto or pepperoni pizza with sweet weed sauce and cannabis-infused sweet pies.
Currently, there are pizza makers who have begun contacting marijuana suppliers and experimenting with mixing cannabis oils. According to reports, one THC speakeasy, Stoned Pizza in the East Village, announced its “gourmet cannabis pizza.”
But the discussion about the negative consequences of this kind of food processing presents a more serious challenge. For example, children could easily access a slice of this cannabis-infused food.
Sen. Liz Krueger explained the amount of cannabis in foods such as pizza, where two portions would be equivalent to four doses of marijuana.
Another issue to be analyzed is that it would be dangerous to grant a license to sell food with cannabis to those who also have a liquor license or vice versa, significantly restricting the number of restaurants that would use it.
Senate Bill S854A decriminalization bill passed the Senate with 40 votes in favor and 23 against. It then passed the legislature with 100 votes in favor and 49 votes against, during a late-night session, on March 29, 2021. It brought concern to police and the New York PTAs.
“Absolute travesty. All research submitted shows it will be harmful to children, makes the roads less safe,” said Kyle Belokopitsky, executive director of the New York State PTA. “And I have absolutely no idea what the legislature is thinking in thinking they want to advance this right now,” the director added to ABC 7 New York via CNBC.
The controversial bill also expunges prior marijuana convictions, the criminal records of tens of thousands of people, allows possession of up to 84.5 grams of cannabis, 24 grams of cannabis concentrate, and lets up to six plants be grown at home.
The state of New Jersey, since April 21, also legalized marijuana. But police have already begun to face challenges to its use, according to Bronx News 12.
“You cannot consume marijuana in a motor vehicle,” says Sayreville Police Chief John Zebrowski, adding that “people leaving a dispensary may be tempted to use it right away.
“Our officers are educated on seeing the signs and being able to do tests to see if someone is impaired,” Zebrowski continued. “Those impairment tests are very similar, if not identical, to alcohol.”
Zebrowski explained that he is especially concerned about young people who may not be familiar with the potency of marijuana.
“We don’t want to see an uptick in emergency room visits because someone ingested too much,” the police officer said.