Cannabis and alcohol are two of the most regulated fields. Both require training, licensing, permits and a great deal of responsibility to sell. So, is it possible that these two may one day be combined? We discuss the rules and regulations on if this is possible.
The Rise of Cannabis
By now we are sure you know all about marijuana, mary jane, ganja and/or any other name the green stuff goes by. Weed has become legal in several states across the U.S. If you are curios to know what states can legally sell week, here is a handy map. Laws regarding the legality of marijuana sales have changed so rapidly it can be hard to keep up.
Recently, California opened up its first cannabis cafe. Yes, you read that correctly. This cafe serves food that has been infused with marijuana in the ingredients. But, how legal is it for companies to start infusing alcoholic beverages with weed? With the growing acceptance of cannabis, will this become a new normal?
Cannabis and Alcohol Combined
So, can you currently sell Alcohol infused with weed? The question doesn’t seem to be that far out of the norm. Considering all the advances we have recently made regarding both subjects. But, the answer in short is, no. It is currently not legal in any state to combine cannabis and alcohol together. Not only can they not be combined, they can not be sold inside the same establishment. Permits can not be given for both. This is true for all states.
To legally sell cannabis in an establishment you must have a permit. To legally sell alcohol in an establishment you must have a permit. These permits can not be combined! In other words, you may not have a cannabis and alcohol permit with in the same establishment. Making it impossibly to legally sell them together. This is the current law. But, it may not be in the future.
In 2018 then governor of California, Jerry Brown signed one of the first bills regarding the legality of this subject. This bill prohibits bars and liquor stores from selling cannabis products that are also alcoholic beverages. This includes “an infusion of cannabis or cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp into an alcoholic beverage.” The bill passed the state assembly with unanimous support, getting a 34–3 vote in the state Senate. So, what does the future hold for the possibility of combing these two?
The Future of Infusions
Infusions wont be sold in stores anytime soon. But, if your wondering why you’ve seen something similar? Here is how. According to the Reason.com, some companies are finding a way around.
Keith Villa, the man who originally created Blue Moon beer, is producing a line of THC-infused beers. His beer gets around some of the regulatory hurdles because it is non-alcoholic. It taste like beer, but you’ll have to buy it at a pot shop. Similarly, the California-based Lagunitas Brewing Company launched a series of THC-infused seltzer waters made with hops. Thanks to a legal loophole, California’s nascent hemp cocktails may remain legal even under the new law. This is as long as they do not contain CBD or THC
A state Senate analysis of the bill points out that CBD can be derived from industrial hemp. Despite being grown as cannabis, hemp is actually not classified as “cannabis” in state law. Although, they are often used interchangeably, the terms cannabis, hemp, and marijuana have important biological and legal distinctions.
In short, if your seeing infusions or something that looks to be alcohol and cannabis combined, it may not be exactly what you think.
Cannabis and alcohol combinations are not legal. But, it looks like we are heading that way. Even with new government regulations, the normalcy surrounding the two is becoming more common. Soon, you may be able to order a cocktail made from hemp. Or, enjoy an edible in the form of your favorite alcoholic beverage. The possibilities for creative bartenders are endless. This will indeed need to be highly regulated but, it is possible! It will also be a great form of revenue.
In the mean time, make sure you are set for your Alcohol and Beverage course! Get your certificate today! Sign up here. It’s not only educational but also, fun!