The feds aren’t caught up in the newest trend in South Florida craft brewing: beer with cannabis terpenes oil. In fact, they’re against it.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau sent cease and desist letters to two South Florida breweries ordering them to stop selling beer infused with any cannabis terpenes oil the agency hasn’t approved.
SouthFlorida.com reported the letters were delivered in the past week to Invasive Species Brewing in Fort Lauderdale and Devour Brewing in Boynton Beach.
Phil Gillis, Invasive Species’ head brewer, told SouthFlorida.com that he didn’t know the oil needed federal approval because it doesn’t contain THC, and doesn’t produce a high. It also doesn’t have any cannabidiol, the property in cannabis most associated with healing properties.
The terpenes are said to give the beer a funky, marijuana-like taste and smell.
Breweries who use cannabis terpenes oil “should stop production of any fermented beverages […] until you have obtained the appropriate formula approval,” a TTB letter mailed to Devour Brewing Company says, according to the website. TTB does say that as long as the beer doesn’t have federally controlled substances, such as THC, the terpenes oil isn’t actually illegal – but it has to be tested and approved for sale by the agency to make sure it doesn’t contain any illegal chemicals. Hops, the key flavor ingredient in beer, also make terpenes.