Feds Officially Ban CBD in Alcoholic Beverages, L.A. CBD Lawyers Warn

Although hemp and CBD are no longer on the U.S Controlled Substances list, thanks to the 2019 Farm Bill, there are still regulatory agencies that can impose stringent restrictions on their use. L.A. CBD lawyers have been closely monitoring the evolution of federal policy and statutes pertaining to application of legal sales, in particular infusion of food and beverage products made from hemp-derived CBD. L.A. CBD lawyers

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) made clear that CBD made with hemp can’t be lawfully added to alcoholic drinks.

In response to a flood of inquiries submitted by L.A. CBD lawyers and other interested parties, the TTB made clear that while CBD and hemp are now federally legalized, that legality doesn’t pertain to alcohol.

Review of Existing Guidelines Means CBD Drink Rule Could Change

Whether this rule sticks is questionable. After all, CBD, short for cannabidiol, doesn’t have psychoactive properties because the active-compound THC appears at trace levels – if at all – in CBD consumer products. That means it isn’t likely to compound someone’s level of intoxication if consumed in conjunction with alcohol. But TTB officials aren’t keen on relaxing their rules – at least yet – especially so long as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s rules on CBD infusion to wine, beer and liquor remains firm.

For its part, the FDA has stated repeatedly and unequivocally that CBD derived from hemp can’t be legally legally marketed in food products. However, officials with that agency also have said they are looking at potential pathways to changing that rule to.

In a released statement following a consult with FDA regulators, the TTB indicated that any alcohol products infused with CBD will be rejected. However, the agency included a caveat that it will continue to process applications products containing hemp seed and hemp seed oil, and that applications for CBD-infused alcohol would be reconsidered if policy changes.

Manufacturers and distributors wishing to market alcohol products with hemp derivatives, even those allowable under the law, they first need to submit a laboratory analysis of the ingredients therein to be sure they don’t contain any controlled substances barred for such purposes.

The agency has been engaged in ongoing consultation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the issue as needed. L.A. CBD lawyers caution anyone selling these products to consult with an attorney first, most especially if sales are occurring across state lines.

CBD Lawyers Note Food and Drink Product Marketing Continues

Despite these rules, our L.A. CBD lawyers note that dispensaries, restaurants and other retailers continue to market food and drink items with CBD. At this point, we haven’t noticed any significant uptick in CBD enforcement action in California. However, CBS reported in February that states like New York, Maine, Ohio and North Carolina are committing to hard-line action against CBD products that fail to meet the letter of the law.
As far as federal CBD enforcement action is concerned, the FDA has indicated it is prioritizing its resources to target companies that make unfounded or exaggerated claims regarding the health gains of CBD products.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, CBD dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients, doctors and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

Federal Agency Clarifies Rules On Adding CBD To Alcoholic Beverages, May 6, 2019, Marijuana Moment

More Blog Entries:

Criminal Charges for CBD? Confusion Copious Over State, Federal Laws, May 1, 2019, L.A. CBD Lawyer Blog