BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: “In short, hemp and hops can only work together if state and federal regulators get out of the way.”

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This is an excellent essay about innovation, regulation and weirdness. Thanks to E for the link.

As for me, a pint of Fuller’s London Pride will do just fine, but by all means, get out there and expand the perimeter.

Hemp Beer Is Dank, Delicious, and Coming Soon to a Bar Near Youby Eric Boehm (Reason)

… if regulators don’t get in the way first

In a lot of ways, hemp and hops seem like they’re just meant to go together. After all, they share common ancestors, common flavor profiles, and common recreational uses, says Tom Hembree, the co-founder of the Dad and Dudes Breweria in Aurora, Colorado.

At the end of 2012, the state voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Since shortly after, Dad And Dudes has been out front in the effort to develop and market a beer made with cannabis. The next batch of brew infused with cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a non-psychoactive compound extracted from cannabis, is almost ready to be put in cans. For Hembree, hemp and other cannabis byproducts like CBD are “just another hop essence.”

If only it were that simple.

Beers made with hemp have been around for decades: In 1999, while returning from Mexico aboard Air Force One, President Bill Clinton reportedly sampled some Hemp Gold, a cream ale produced by the now-defunct Frederick Brewing Company of Maryland. But despite the explosive growth of America’s craft beer scene and the growing acceptance of legal weed, the production and popularity of hemp beers has been limited by a litany of federal and state restrictions, while other laws make it difficult to distribute across state lines.

That’s true even in places like Colorado, where craft beer is a booming industry and recreational marijuana is legal. Just down the street from the brewery, you can stroll into a dispensary and find cannabis to be smoked, weed-infused bakery items or candies to be munched, and concentrate to be vaped.

But Dad and Dudes had to get permission from three different federal agencies, along with state authorities, before brewing their George Washington’s Secret Stash—so named because the president grew hemp on his farm at Mount Vernon in the days before such production was banned by federal fiat. And when federal rules about using hemp changed abruptly in December 2016, production had to be shut down. “It’s been a struggle,” says Hembree. Only now, a year and a half later, after a lawsuit and with the beer’s legality still somewhat unclear, are they ready to try again.”

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