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Oregon Lawmakers Ban Cannabis-Infused Alcoholic Beverages

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The state of Oregon is widely known for two specific things – craft breweries and potent cannabis. The two won’t be legally permitted to coincide, thanks to a recent ruling from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The Control board regulates both alcoholic beverages and legal cannabis. As of January 1st, any beverage containing alcohol may not also contain THC or CBD. 

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission stated that the reason behind the ruling is due to concerns that have been raised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“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,” Pettinger said Friday. “There’s very little scientific evidence. People are using them for wellness, but how they interact with other substances, not a lot is known,” said Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the agency.

The fact that Pettinger used the phrase “taking CBDs” might raise the eyebrows of a few cannabis advocates. The East Burn, a popular pub in Portland, is reportedly the first to serve CBD-infused beer, called Two Flowers IPA. Owner Michael Fritz said that after drinking the CBD-infused craft beer, you wouldn’t notice any effects other than the alcohol. 

“If you have three beers, you’re going to feel like you had three beers,” Fritz said. “You’re going to feel relaxed.”

Pettinger said that he wasn’t aware of any other bar or pub that served CBD-infused beer, and that this location sold out of the last of Two Flowers IPA a few weeks ago. Pettinger added that federal agencies should first establish regulations for CBD before the state of Oregon would sell alcoholic beverages containing the cannabinoid. However, any American following the federal government’s treatment of legal cannabis would probably recommend against holding your breath for that happening any time soon. 

Pettinger added that the FDA would like to remind breweries, bars and pubs that the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has not approved the use of CBD in any drinks.

Despite the ban on cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages, Oregon has been very progressive when it comes to legal cannabis. The state decriminalized possession of the plant all the way back in 1973, with legal patient access to medical cannabis coming after that in 1998. Back in 2014, adult-use cannabis was made legal in the Beaver State. 

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