California ABC adds guidance on CBD infusions: No!

August 15, 2018

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) recently updated their Industry Advisory on Cannabis and Alcoholic Beverages to answer questions about the sale and use of cannabidiol (CBD) products derived from hemp. As we outlined in January, the initial guidance made it clear that while individuals can hold both alcohol and cannabis licenses simultaneously, cannabis can not be sold at licensed alcohol premises, consumed at licensed alcohol premises, or infused into beverage alcohol products.

The revised guidance adds a new FAQ entry on whether alcohol licensees can sell or use CBD that is derived from industrial hemp. In the updated advisory, the California ABC cites a study from the California Department of Public Health that states that food (including alcohol) can not include CBD products until either the FDA allows hemp-derived CBD to be included in food products or California “makes a determination that they are safe for human and animal consumption”.

ABC licensees may not manufacture, produce, or sell CBD or CBD products, or any products that contain CBD. It does not matter if the CBD comes from industrial hemp or from cannabis. This also includes nonalcoholic beverage products and edibles. It is thus prohibited for an ABC licensee to use CDB or CBD products, regardless of source, in the manufacture or production of any alcoholic beverage, including using it in mixed drinks or cocktails.

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