Oregon Bans Cannabis-Infused Beer

Industry News - Oregon Beer

No more CBD-infused alcohol for Oregon residents as of  January 1.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission — alcoholic and recreational marijuana product regulator in the state — decided to ban the production and sale of cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages. Under the new ruling, as of January 1, 2020, alcoholic drinks, including beer, may no longer contain any cannabis derivatives. This includes both THC and its non-psychoactive relative CBD.

Mark Pettinger, the spokesman for the agency, referred to recent concerns raised by the FDA over the health risks of CBD, namely liver damage, as the reason behind the ruling. He stated that there are too many unknowns regarding the interactions between CBD and other substances, such as alcohol, as well as a lack of scientific evidence to support claims over the health benefits of CBD.

Under the new regulation, all establishments that own a taproom or bar serving CBD-infused drinks have to remove the items from their shelves. The ban does not cover CBD-infused sodas or soft drinks, which will continue to be sold.

Oregon is famous for both its craft beer and its abundance of cannabis. The first to combine the two was a Portland brewery, Coalition, which started producing CBD-infused beer in 2016. The brewery recently went out of business, with Michael Fritz, one of the owners, saying that his customers finished off all the CBD-infused beer ten days earlier. He added that the product was a really good seller for the company and that as far as he was concerned, the CBD did not have any additional effect.

Oregon was the first state to decriminalize cannabis back in 1973. The state legalized medical cannabis in 1998 and recreational use in 2014. In 2019, it made a record-breaking $102.1 million in revenue from cannabis sales.  Two Oregon senators, Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, worked with Mitch McConnell in the legalization of industrial hemp last year.

Last week, Merkley announced that he wants to provide an additional $2 million in the nation’s spending bill to aid the FDA in developing regulations for both CBD and CBD oil.

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