Playboy Gets Fired Up For Cannabis Advocacy and Reform
by Kat Helgeson
Maryland’s first THC-infused beer is on its way despite edible restrictions. Flying Dog Brewery and Green Leaf Medical Cannabis are partnering together to unleash an innovative beer named Hop Chronic in 2019. This non-alcoholic, THC-infused beverage will give those in need of medicinal cannabis an easy way to ingest it. Only those with a medical recommendation to use cannabis will be able to buy Hop Chronic. The beer will only be available at licensed dispensaries.
Recreational cannabis is not legal in Maryland, and neither are edibles. How is it possible for there to be a beer like Hop Chronic sold within the state?
“There are already drinks, mints and candies being sold in Maryland,” explains Philip Goldberg, CEO of Green Leaf, “We will seek approval for our drink from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and will only distribute if it is in fact approved. In addition, there is a new bill before the legislators that would permit edibles. With our planned release in the summer we should have a ruling on edibles by the time we release Hop Chronic.”
Maryland is one of the 30+ states that have a regulated medical marijuana market. In an attempt to discourage recreational use, Mayland has restrictions on how you can sell medicinal cannabis. Drinks, powders, oils, and tablets are still available for residents who need cannabis for medical reasons. The absence of alcohol in the beer isn’t just for potential medical complications for patients, there is a federal law that prohibits brewers from using marijuana in a beer.
For those who suffer from chronic pain, enjoyable methods of taking this beneficial herb are highly sought after. Smoking and vaping is not for everyone, and with food edibles out of the question in Maryland, it can be hard to find a method of ingestion that one can regularly enjoy. Goldberg also said that they are looking into fruit-flavored drinks as well.
This new venture is not only highly useful, but there is also a certain level of artistry involved in the process. The partnership was inspired first by the location of the two businesses and tours of each other’s establishments.
“The Flying Dog manufacturing plant is located just across the street from our cultivation facility,” Goldberg states. “We became friends with the Flying Dog management team and toured each other’s facilities. It was during one of these tours that we discussed the synergies between craft brewing and cannabis extraction.”
THC-infused beer is new for Maryland, but has been created in other states. The inventor behind Blue Moon, Keith Villa, made headlines last year when he came out with his own variation of a cannabis-infused beer. Though Keith Villa’s new THC-infused beer company, Ceria Brewing, is based in less-marijuana-restrictive Colorado, the beer is still nonalcoholic to comply with federal law.
Many other THC-infused beers have been created by large brands; Corona, Molson Coors, and Svedka Vodka just to name a few. The great thing about what Flying Dog Brewery and Green Leaf Medical Cannabis are doing is that they are providing a great product to a state that can feel restrictive even for those with a medical reason to use marijuana.
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