Perhaps the newest trend in the cannabis craze is alcohol infused with hemp or cannabis. Given the regulatory hurdles and federal prohibition, so far infusions are a cottage industry with just a handful of manufacturers producing beer, wine and spirits infused with hemp or cannabis. Since any product containing the psychoactive properties of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a violation of federal law, most commercial producers are not getting into the industry….just yet. A few small producers, however, have created beverages infused with cannabis for sale solely within states that have legalized cannabis.
The solution for some manufacturers who want to be able to create their beverages with the cannabis plant is through using ingredients that do not contain any THC. There are numerous studies that indicate that Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp may provide a multitude of nutritional and health benefits even without the THC content, so it’s not necessarily all just marketing.
For instance, Dad and Dudes Breweria of Aurora, Colorado, has received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to sell its General Washington’s Secret Stash IPA brew, which contains cannabinoids but no THC, in all 50 states.
According to Men’s Journal, who spoke with Dad and Dude’s co-owner Dan Hembree, the TTB required a complete analysis of the ingredients, recipe, and process before it would give formula approval for the patent-pending process used for infusing the CBD and beer. Each keg of the beer contains 500 milligrams of CBD, about 4 milligrams per pint.
The TTB already issued a Hemp Policy back in April 2000, outlining the requirements for formulas/statements of process for domestic hemp products. Once the formulation and process has been approved, the final step is, as always, getting the label approved for the product.
All new labels for alcohol beverages that contain hemp or hemp components must meet the following requirements:
- You are prohibited from using the term hemp on an alcohol beverage label (in the brand name, fanciful name, text, etc.) EXCEPT when it is specifically stated in an approved statement of composition specifying hemp seeds/oil, etc. (e.g. Ale brewed with hemp seeds).
- You are prohibited from using depictions, graphics, designs, devices, puffery, statement, slang, representations, etc. implying or referencing the presence of hemp, marijuana, any other controlled substance; or any psychoactive effects.
Tom Hogue, a spokesman for the TTB, has stated in various news outlets, that generally once a brewer gets formula and label approval, it can sell across state lines pursuant to local laws.
By: Oren Cytrynbaum