TTB Pumps the Brakes on CBD Infused Alcohol
Despite a slew of news reports on Cannabis-wine/beer/spirits over the past year, recent actions by the Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have brought into question whether CBD-infused alcoholic beverages can be legally produced in the United States, even in states that have legalized cannabis for adult use.
Last fall, a Colorado brewery, Dad & Dudes Breweria, announced that it had secured TTB formula approval for a CBD-infused beer to be marketed as General Washington’s Secret Stash, and that it planned to distribute the beer nationwide. But in December, after the Drug Enforcement Agency concluded that marijuana extracts that contain cannabinoids are considered a Schedule I drug, TTB asked the Breweria to surrender the formula. The parties have since entered into negotiations as to next steps and the Breweria has agreed to (at least temporarily) stop producing the CBD-infused beer.
California newspapers have recently reported on in-state breweries and wineries that are making CBD-infused products. Given TTB’s treatment of Dad & Dudes Breweria, however, it is clear that the federal government believes that any such product requires a TTB-approved formula. Moreover, given recent statements by the U.S. Attorney General, it seems unlikely that the current administration would permit TTB to grant formulas for the production of a product that involves the infusion of a Schedule I drug. Producers engaged in making CBD-infused alcohol products absent a formula may be putting their federal licensing at risk until such time, at least, as the DEA changes its mind about the classification of marijuana extracts.
We reported on Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s guidance on marijuana-infused alcohol earlier this year. For more information regarding alcohol beverage production and ABC/TTB issues, please contact John Trinidad at [email protected].