Federal agency: CBD not allowed in alcoholic beverages

CBD is not a permitted ingredient in alcoholic beverages under current federal guidelines, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

The TTB, which falls under the U.S. Department of the Treasury that regulates alcoholic beverage and other industries, responded to a barrage of questions from alcohol and hemp industry members about whether the agency would allow hemp-derived ingredients.

In a TTB Industry Circular distributed April 25 and first reported by The National Law Forum, the agency said it will defer to guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it works through its process to reevaluate whether CBD can be safely permitted in food, beverages, dietary supplements and cosmetics.

Meanwhile, the TTB noted it is in the process of updating its guidance on the use of hemp-derived ingredients to reflect recent changes in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill becoming law.

The FDA scheduled its first CBD public hearing for May 31, when it will seek to gather scientific data and information about products containing cannabis and its derivatives.

In recent months, CBD has appeared in various products – including alcoholic beverages – despite the FDA’s warning that it is not a permitted ingredient under federal law.

Under current TTB guidance, hempseeds and hempseed oil are allowed ingredients, though the agency will continue to require formula applications that include laboratory analysis of hemp ingredients to ensure they are not marijuana, which is currently still a controlled substance under federal law.