The ABCs of CBD and THC in Your Brews

The big news this month comes from Oregon. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission—which regulates alcohol and recreational marijuana in the state—has banned CBD and THC from alcoholic drinks. Why? In part because there is “little scientific evidence” about how the compound interacts with other substances including alcohol.

With 11 states and the District of Columbia now legalizing recreational marijuana, and 33 states legalizing other forms, interest in utilizing CBD and THC in brewing has been on the grow.

It was back in 2016 that Dad & Dudes Breweria introduced the first commercial beer made with cannabis oil at the Great American Beer Festival. According to the brewery, the TTB approval process took about a year. That’s because the TTB required a thorough analysis of the ingredients and the recipe before it would give formula approval for Dudes’ patent-pending process and its beer.

But that doesn’t mean the agency wholeheartedly supports such brews. In fact, the TTB has taken steps against some breweries. For instance, San Francisco’s Black Hammer Brewing was ordered to stop producing beer containing CBD. Likewise, Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing was told to stop producing its CBD-infused beer.

The agency also sent cease-and-desist letters to a couple of Florida craft breweries. This blocked sales of any beer infused with cannabis terpenes oil that the federal agency hadn’t approved. Although the oil contains neither THC nor, its use still requires federal approval.

Meanwhile, Colorado breweries are making headlines for embracing the development of seltzer and beers infused with THC, CBD, or both.

What Your Brewery Needs to Know

Be certain you understand the laws regarding cannabis, CBD, and THC, and related substances in your state.

Remember that cannabis remains illegal federally. Consider how a brew that’s legal in your state, but not necessarily legal outside of it, could impact your distribution plans.

Understand the TTB’s stance on brews infused with CBD or THC.

Consult with your insurance agent to see how these types of brews could impact your insurance needs, particular in regards to your liability exposures.

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