Dad & Dudes CBD Beer Goes National In U.S.
Authorities in just about every country are struggling with the realization that the cannabinoid revolution is here to stay. As a result, regulations are now appearing in just about every country where legalization is a hot topic - and on a federal level. And just as the British recently weighed in on the need to regulate CBD, in the United States the conversation is continuing in an even stranger way.
This has never been more obvious after the success of a Colorado-based brewery – Dad & Dude’s, which has just gotten permission from the federal government to ship CBD-infused beer across state lines. Colorado has long been known for a micro-brewery hub. Mix in a few cannabinoids, however, and it seems the state is also trying to innovate its way into a hybrid space.
D&D’s has been in business since 2010 but limited its distribution within Colorado - until now. The brewery, located in a Denver suburb, has just received permission from the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which oversees interstate beer sales, to distribute nationally. Upon approval of a product label for the company, the company will then be allowed to distribute its brews to all 50 states.
Their first CBD-infused beer – George Washington’s Secret Stash – is however not the first CBD-infused beer on the market. There are at least three others who are currently distributing cannabis seed-infused beers across the country. The Humboldt Brewing Company from California, Ulinta Brewing Company from Utah and Missouri-based O’Fallon Brewery are all already on the cannabis-infused beer wagon.
CAN IT MAKE YOU HIGH?
The “psychoactive” ingredient that packs a punch in all CBD-infused beer is not the cannabinoids it contains, but the alcohol created during the fermentation process. George Washington’s Secret Stash has a alcohol content of 6.5%.
Brewing CBD-infused beer in Europe is actually prohibited in some countries. In the U.S. it was legal until the beginning of the century, and then became briefly illegal as the battle over prohibition (over marijuana) heated up. Canadian producers began producing hemp ale in the middle of the last decade.
The times they are definitely a-changin’.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?
Despite the fuss, beer’s basic ingredient – hop – is actually the cannabis plant’s closest botanical cousin. There are also striking similarities between the two plants. They both have male and female plants, and, just as in cannabis, only the female hop flowers are used to flavour beer. Seeds in both species are undesirable.
According to both brewers and customers alike, the addition of CBD, added as an oil to the brewing process, does not change the “flavour profile” aka the actual taste of the beer.
The brewers at D & D’s came up with the idea after a friend was diagnosed with epilepsy and began using CBD oil to treat the same. Apparently the brewers also believe that the beer will help drinkers settle upset stomachs and help ease insomnia. But if imbibers are so concerned about consuming CBD for its medicinal impact, why get it from a beer?
WHAT IS BEHIND THE HYPE
Most of the hype the beer is receiving in the United States is based on the fact that it appears to be the latest entrant in a World where marijuana-themed products beyond the smoked or vaped product, appear to be on an upward trajectory that has not levelled out. Beyond this, fact, however, is another development that is at least as interesting.
The beer’s entrance into the market also comes at a time when federal regulators are under the gun to both reschedule marijuana and consider where and how it will be shipped over state lines. Right now, the marijuana business (including CBD) has been limited to a state-by-state industry. This is true also for CBD, particularly in the south, where state lawmakers have repeatedly blocked the import of even CBD oil-based medication for sick children, even after “legalizing” the drug for medicinal purposes.
WHY DISTINGUISH BETWEEN CANNABINOIDS AT ALL?
At the heart over this buzz about beer is the far bigger question about cannabinoid regulation – as a whole – in the United States in particular. What the announcement over the CBD-infused beer really means, in fact, is that the federal government is actually starting to consider the national regulation of the marijuana business overall.
Like the British government, U.S. federal regulators appear to believe that regulating CBD on a national level is the first step to regulating an industry based on a plant with (some believe) at least 80 different kinds of cannabinoids.
What is actually going on, however, is the greater question of how to deal with the one cannabinoid at the heart of all the fuss – THC – particularly at a time when it is beginning to be shipped internationally on a much larger scale.
Within the last year, Canada joined Holland as the world’s second THC-exporting country. Shipping CBD across state lines in the United States, no matter what it is mixed with, pales in comparison.
WHAT DOES THIS DEVELOPMENT MEAN?
In effect, what is clearly in the works, is both a national legal conversation (in several countries, as well as internationally) about how to proceed with the end of prohibition – and how to handle the larger issue of cannabinoid regulation.
There are several issues in the mix here. The first is that agencies should regulate all cannabinoids – even without the psychedelic THC. The regulation of CBD, when it is mixed with alcohol as in the D & D scenario, seems to foreshadow, at least in the U.S., that all cannabinoids, regardless of their psychoactive punch, will either be regulated as medicine or alcohol.
Outside the U.S., however, this question is much more complicated. In the EU, where the trend appears to be to treat cannabis as a medicinal product, it is likely that the drug will first be regulated on a national level and at the EU level, as a medicine.
Either way, however, it is clear that prohibition is fading to regulation. How that will look, particularly in markets outside the U.S. and where medical marijuana is increasingly shipped across not only state lines but oceans, is anyone’s guess.
Written by: Guest Writer
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