Cannabidiol (CBD) in Beer Products

There has been a recent TTB approval for beer products containing Cannabidiol (CBD), a byproduct and cannabis extract (containing no trace of THC). How do you think this will affect transportation of beer products with this ingredient in it across the states? Furthermore, registration of this product in states? 

From my understanding, most states have strict regulations on anything cannabis related, though some becoming more lenient for hemp extracts/oils/etc for commercial and medical use, as well as for research. I have come across articles that discuss the various laws that have been passed that may allow the transportation of a product like this, depending on how the CBD is extracted from the plant (i.e.  2014 US Farm Bill)

Since TTB is giving formula/label approvals for products containing CBD, has anyone come across any state regulations for beer products like this? Would they allow these types of products to be sold/registered and/or shipped through the state? 


  • Alex KoralAlex Koral Posts: 36 admin

    Thanks for the question! This is definitely an interesting area for regulation, which will almost certainly be a bigger and bigger issue in the future.

    I think a key point, as you suggest, is how much of this issue is still in the air. With the spread of legalized cannabis, there are a lot of regulatory decisions to be made. 

    From my initial understanding, these approved Cannabidiol beers are intended only for sale in Colorado, where they are produced (and where recreational marijuana is legal). Your definitely right that most states have rules prohibiting most uses of anything cannabis related; but more than that, because marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug according to the Federal Government, any crossing of state borders with the product makes it a Federal crime--which is why within the legal marijuana industry, every step, from growing to consumption has to occur entirely within the state's borders.

    It's true that the 2014 Farm Bill did include provisions allowing interstate transport of certain cannabis-based products, but it seems to limit them to industrial hemp. I can't say myself whether that would include products with CBD or not. Notably, the approved beers only contain pure CBD oil, from which the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis (THC) has been removed. This is probably how they received approval from the TTB--after all, as a Federal agency, the TTB would be unlikely to approve a product that actually made you high. So, perhaps because of its denatured state, the beer could sneak in through the prohibitions on interstate sales of cannabis.

    But again, a lot of this is still unsettled law. So if anyone else has more information or direct experience, it'd be great to hear.

    This also speaks to a larger issue of how the spread of legal marijuana may affect the beverage alcohol industry, which would also be a great conversation to have.
  • Alex KoralAlex Koral Posts: 36 admin
    Here's a recent news article on the soon-to-be-released CBD beer:

    Apparently, they are planning to distribute nationally. But it should be noted that the beer does not contain any psychoactive THC chemicals, only the CBD chemicals more associated with cannabis's purported health benefits. So in essence, this beer is much closer to the already permitted hemp seed beer than some new chimera of intoxicants.
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