Federal Alcohol Regulators: No CBD in Beer

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has made it official: the agency will not approve any alcohol formulations containing CBD or THC. The announcement coincides with a report last week that the agency ordered a California brewery to cease production of its CBD infused brews.

But isn’t CBD legal in all 50 states? No, it’s not.

“The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) … defines marijuana as all parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant (and its derivatives) with certain specific exclusions. Substances (such as tetrahydrocannabinols [THC], cannabidiols [CBD], or terpenes) that are derived from any part of the cannabis plant that is not excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana are controlled substances, regardless of whether such substances are lawful under State law.” – May 25 TTB directive

Yes, this is due to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s move last year to classify CBD as a Schedule I substance. Earlier this month, a court upheld the DEA reclassification – which was initially thought to be a tracking mechanism, rather than a reclassification of CBD; although, the DEA has long maintained that they have always classified CBD as “marijuana.”

The TTB directive indicates that some industrial hemp products can be added to alcoholic beverages. This includes hemp seed oil, sterilized hemp seeds, and non-resinous, mature hemp stalks, which are not considered “marijuana” under the CSA.  

Massachusetts regulators already blocked a brewery from adding CBD to a beer saying it would be a violation of Food and Drug Administration Rules. Brewers in other cannabis-legal states, such as Vermont and Colorado, have unveiled CBD-infused beer.

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