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Massachusetts Alcohol Regulators Block CBD Beer Claiming FDA Rules Violation

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission will not allow a local brewer to move forward with plans to roll out a CBD-infused beer, arguing that the cannabinoid is a Schedule I drug and the infusion would violate the Food & Drug Administration’s Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Boston Business Journal reports.

“Even though retail sales of cannabis are expected to become lawful starting July 1, 2018, it will remain unlawful to manufacture and/or sell alcoholic beverages containing any cannabinoid extracts, including tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”), regardless of whether it is derived from the cannabis plant or industrial hemp.” – the ABCC ruling, via Boston Business Journal

Alex Weaver, marketing director for Down the Road Beer Co. – the company that planned on creating the beer – said the company was “disappointed the current laws haven’t caught up with [the company’s] drive to innovate and continue to push the bounds of what craft beer could be.”

“Down the Road Beer Co. has been focused on innovation since day one. Our founder and head brewer, Donovan Bailey, loves pushing the bounds of what craft can be beyond the ordinary or expected. In that vein of innovation, brewing the first CBD beer in Massachusetts made perfect sense for us.” – Weaver to Boston Business Journal

The company still released a version of the brew, called Goopmassta Session IPA, but without CBD.

Down the Road is not the first craft brewery interested in infusing beer with cannabinoids. Last year, California-based Lagunitas Brewing Company released Supercritical IPA, which infused cannabis terpenes but neither CBD nor THC. Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Company announced its own CBD-infused brew – called Medicator – last August; however, VT Digger reported last week that the U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has not yet issued a certificate of label approval for the brew. Tom Hogue, a spokesman for the federal agency, said that while products containing hemp can pass inspection it cannot contain a controlled substance. Hogue said that approval could take 10 days or more.

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