Washington Bans Infused Cannabis Labels that Imply Product Contains Alcohol

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (Board) has issued an Interim Policy that prohibits the use of product labels sold at retail that imply the marijuana infused product contains alcohol. The Board will consider a product label that implies or represents the presence of alcohol through, among others, the design, name or brand to be false and misleading. The labels should include words such as non-alcoholic, does not contain alcohol, not a beer, not a wind and o% ABV.

The new Interim policy is the second alcohol related guidance that the Board has issued in recent months. The Board published an article in December informing the public that CBD may not be added to alcoholic beverages. The Board also indicated that the only authorized use of CBD in Washington is by licensed producers. Licensed producers may use CBD as additives to marijuana products that are sold in licensed stores. The Board noted that federal regulations require alcohol manufacturers to obtain the approval for labels from the Tax and Trade Bureau. The Tax and Trade Bureau has previously provided guidance indicating that labels for alcohol containing hemp will be approved only after meeting certain conditions including testing and proving that the hemp contains no THC.

Washington’s position with regards to CBD highlights the disparity in the definition of marijuana nationally. Drug Enforcement Agency regulations consider hemp products that are intended to be consumed to be marijuana unless the hemp contains no THC. This limits the sale of CBD to state licensed marijuana facilities.