If you’re a Massachusetts craft beer drinker who believes that a friend with weed is a friend indeed, you may be wondering if and when your local brewery is planning on brewing a marijuana themed beer. Bad news. Today the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), the agency that controls the sale, transportation, possession, purchasing, and manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, released an advisory making it clear that using cannabinoids such as “THC” or “CBD” (both considered controlled substances) in the manufacturing of beer or other alcohol will remain unlawful.
With the retail sale of cannabis expected to become legal on July 1st of this year, it’s safe to assume that a number of breweries were hoping to follow in the footsteps of states like Vermont or Colorado, where a handful of commercial breweries have brewed a beer with one of the aforementioned cannabis derivatives. At least one that we’re aware of, Down the Road Beer Co. in Everett, had been hoping to brew just such a beer. “In the spirit of innovation we wanted to brew the first Massachusetts beer with CBD (the non-psychoactive derivative of hemp) in it,” said the brewery’s Director of Marketing Alex Weaver today. “Unfortunately the laws haven’t caught up with the times just yet.”
To kick off their new Virtuoso Series of beers, the first expected to be the aforementioned “CBD” brew, a Session IPA called GoopMassta, they had planned a huge launch party tomorrow night featuring live Reggae music and a special food menu. The party is still on, and GoopMassta will be pouring, but with the following caveat: “this iteration is technically version 2.0. The original plan for this beer was significantly more avant garde, but unfortunately it was a bit ahead of its time. The earthy ingredients have been shelved for now in anticipation of more defined legislature regarding the use of certain organic compounds in beer.”
The ABCC advisory state’s that “any licensee found in violation of the law by manufacturing, transporting, selling, or possessing on its licensed premises cannabinoid-infused alcoholic beverages faces potential suspension or revocation of its license. The licensing authorities may also refer any violations to the relevant District Attorney’s Office or the Attorney General’s Office for criminal prosecution.”
So If that friend with weed happens to be a commercial brewer in Massachusetts, they can pass the dutchie on the left hand side (at least come July), but don’t expect them to have any in their beer.