Oregon moves to ban alcoholic CBD drinks

Oregon moves to ban alcoholic CBD drinks

Last week, a regulatory board in Oregon voted to ban CBD in alcoholic beverages across the state.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission voted Thursday to adopt the statewide ban, which will come into full effect on January 1, 2020. [1] [2]

CBD was first made legal in the U.S. at the federal level in December 2018, but state governments have taken steps to regulate it to varying degrees.

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the ban will disrupt a thriving scene of niche beers by prominent Oregon breweries that have been experimenting with CBD and hemp recipes throughout 2019. [2]

“People feel like the CBD in the beer is helpful, whether it’s for muscle pain or other injuries they have. People really believe the CBD helps them,” Sue Wise of Growler Guys, a brewery in Portland, told OPB. [2]

Some states have naturally been more lenient than others on the question of CBD regulation, but the move from the Oregon state government reflects early 2019 statements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that CBD was not allowed in food and drink products.

The FDA’s stance was bolstered this fall when the agency put out statements warning about CBD’s safety, despite studies showing its potential medicinal properties and reports from the World Health Organization that concluded the substance poses no danger to its users.

“We’ve wanted to address the issue of CBD getting into alcohol and because there are a lot of unknown unknowns about the effect of taking CBDs,” OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger said Friday, according to the Boston Globe. “There’s very little scientific evidence. People are using them for wellness, but how they interact with other substances, not a lot is known.” [1]

What is known is that CBD beers have been wildly successful for many brewers, including Michael Fritz, who owns the EastBurn bar in Portland, which recently sold the last of the CBD-infused Two Flowers IPA from now-defunct Coalition Brewing. [1]

“We were the first bar to put it on tap,” Fritz told the Boston Globe. “It was a nice IPA.” [1]

Pettinger said he wasn’t aware of any Oregon breweries manufacturing CBD-infused beers when the commission voted to adopt the ban that would potentially damage their businesses. [1]


[1] https://www.bostonglobe.com/2019/12/23/marijuana/buzzkill-oregon-bans-cannabis-infused-alcoholic-beverages/

[2] https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-olcc-ban-cbd-infused-alcohol/

[3] https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-oregon-cannabis-alcohol-drinks-ban-20191223-qflh5r2jfzbdvcfynhirgg5w6y-story.html?outputType=amp