“Dazed and Infused: Craft Brewing and Cannabis Trends,” Nashville Business Journal
For the October 14, 2022 issue of the Nashville Business Journal and its “Focus on Tourism & Hospitality” section, Tucker Herndon and Nicole Keefe authored an article about the state of the craft brewing industry and the onset of cannabis and related consumer options in Nashville.
“The craft brewing industry has remained resilient despite facing numerous challenges throughout 2021, including labor and material shortages, the impact of weather events on barley and hops production, and disruptions to supply-chain logistics,” Herndon and Keefe said. “The year also provided benefits to the industry through the federal Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which made permanent lower excise tax rates for small and independent breweries, allowed for the transfer of beer between bonded breweries, and offered additional Paycheck Protection Program funding.”
Additionally, the sector has seen new opportunities arise with innovative product offerings, including the responsible and legal use of cannabis in brewing. Some industrious providers have begun offering cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) options, like The Holistic Connection and Buds & Brews. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed industrial hemp extracts with no more than .3% THC concentration from the list of controlled substances, Buds & Brews (Nashville’s first cannabis restaurant) is able to offer American fare alongside hemp-derived THC-infused condiments from Craft Cannabis.
In states where marijuana is legal, THC-infused beers are gaining traction. Brewers and industry investors alike are excited to explore new techniques and develop new technologies related to craft brewing and cannabis, but they should be aware that cannabis brewing involves a high level of regulatory compliance and navigation beyond what is typically required for its alcoholic beer sales.
“For instance, at this time, federal laws and regulations prohibit the mixing of CBD and THC with any amount of alcohol, so any cannabis beverage must be nonalcoholic,” Herndon and Keefe said. “Brewers and industry investors should remain aware of the developing regulatory trends in order to legally and responsibly enjoy their inventive beers, but should not be deterred from tapping into this growing and lucrative industry.”
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