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Oregon Commission Bars Cannabis-Infused Alcohol, Hemp OK

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will allow alcohol brewers and distillers to use hemp in their products but have declined to allow the use of THC-rich cannabis in alcohol production, according to an advisory document from the commission released today. The hemp used by brewers must meet the federal standards and the formulas and labeling used by brewers must be approved by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau.

According to the report, brewers are interested in using hemp because it adds flavors similar to hops when used in beer production. The OLCC ruled that while hemp can be used for alcohol production, it considers such cannabis-infused beverages adulterated, which is prohibited by state law.

“Adding marijuana or marijuana items to alcoholic beverages adulterates the product,” the advisory states. “Therefore, unless allowed under the following exception, marijuana-infused alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Oregon.”

The licensee must provide proof that the formulation meets the Trade Bureau standards before hemp-infused beverages are manufactured, imported or sold in Oregon, according to a press release from the commission. All imported raw hemp will be tested each time to ensure it meets the federal standards. The finished products will also be tested for controlled substances.

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