Beer Containing CBD – We have been asked by several distributors about the legality of selling beer which contains CBD. Certain CBD products are legal under state laws. For example, in Pennsylvania, CBD with a THC level under .03% and certain products with industrial hemp fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant are legal under the state’s Industrial Hemp Program. The law is a little murky, however, when CBD is added to foods and introduced into interstate commerce. We have seen the PA Department of Agriculture and the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) warn that certain CBD products may be illegal. In fact, the TTB has issued several cease and desist letters to manufacturers of CBD infused beer in recent years. However, last week Congress passed the U.S. Farm Bill, which, among other changes, legalized hemp in the United States. Hemp, which is a strain of cannabis that is often confused with marijuana, is a critical component of CBD products. With the passage of the Farm Bill, it seems that hemp-based CBD products may now be legal under federal law. Assuming this interpretation is correct, the path has been cleared for more TTB approvals of beer recipes which include CBD. We will continue to monitor this issue, but distributors should expect to see a boom in malt and brewed beverages containing CBD in the near future.
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