Cannabis Beer Leaves Bad Taste In Fed’s Mouth

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

YouTube: Lucid’s Vlog

Over the past several years, legal cannabis has managed to reach a level of prevalence in the United States that might have previously been thought impossible during the decades-long grip of full-scale marijuana prohibition.

The cannabis plant’s recreational and medicinal legal status has given way to many new methods in which one can combine it with food and drink for consumption as an alternative to smoking.

When the federal ban on booze made its exit in the late 1920s, and the crusade against cannabis got underway in the 1930s, the only alcohol that people combined marijuana with at the time was found in medicinal tinctures; they didn’t add it to adult beverages.

Harry Anslinger

Under Harry Anslinger, the prohibition baton was taken from alcohol and given to cannabis, which has held it for decades since under the federal government’s strict rules. The pairing of the two substances for recreational purposes isn’t something that would be facilitated until about eighty years later.

But humans are experimental by nature, so the combination of alcohol and marijuana was bound to happen sooner or later during the legalization movement, one way or the other. Incidentally, one of the trends that have emerged out of the legal marijuana movement in the past several years is the production of beers that are either infused-with or flavored-like cannabis.

Red Hook’s Joint Effort Hemp Ale, Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Censored (originally named The Kronik) copper ale, and Ale Industries’ Orange Shush are just a few examples of the cannabis beers that have been released in recent years. The drinks are creatively named to get the message across and still get around federal product titling regulations.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approves almost all of the beer labels in the United States, authorizing thousands of them each year for production. “Drugs, drug terms or slang associated with drugs” on alcohol labels have been banned since 1994.

Devour Brewing

This month, the (TTB) sent cease-and-desist letters to a couple of brewers in Florida telling them to stop production of their cannabis-flavored beers. Devour Brewing in Boynton Beach, and Invasive Species Brewing in Fort Lauderdale both received mail from the TTB this month demanding that the brewers cease manufacturing the beverages until the agency has approved the drinks.

Both of the Florida breweries scheduled events for this Friday’s national stoner holiday, 4/20, but in an interview with, Devour mentioned that they may cancel their festivities. Invasive Species has indicated that they are still looking to go ahead with their event as planned.

“[The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau] told me not to make any more beer, but they didn’t tell me I had to cancel my event,” Invasive Species head brewer Phil Gillis told “It’s a little bit of a drag, I won’t lie. But frankly, I’ve got two bands booked and the beer’s already made.”

Invasive Species 420 event flyer

The beverages that Devour and Invasive Species manufacture don’t actually have any cannabinoids in them, instead they contain cannabis terpene oils. Because the oils used in the beers do not contain any THC or even CBD, they do not possess psychoactive properties or any other signature cannabinoid characteristics.

But the lack of cannabinoids in the drinks isn’t preventing the TTB from halting the Florida beverage-makers’ production of cannabis-flavored beer until they obtain the proper authorization. While the terpene oil that the brewers are using is not illegal, the TTB says they must test and approve it to make sure the manufacturers aren’t adding a controlled substance to their alcoholic beverages.

According to the letter that the TTB sent out, breweries are to “stop production of any fermented beverages […] until you have obtained the appropriate formula approval.”

The TTB’s brewery crackdown is in response to recent media coverage which cast a spotlight on the production of cannabis-beer in South Florida.