Long Trail Brewing can’t sell its latest batch of beer infused with the hemp extract cannabidiol because of a hold-up with the feds.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is in the midst of reviewing the brewery’s label for its Medicator beer because of the “special ingredient” noted on the packaging, Long Trail spokesman Drew Vetere said Thursday. The CBD suds can’t be sold until the feds give the green light, known as a "certificate of label approval."
“It could be days or it could be months,” he said.
That means the brewery won’t be able to sell Medicator at Saturday’s Vermont Brewers Festival at Killington Resort, according to Vetere.
Tom Hogue, an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau spokesman, would not comment directly on Long Trail's case. But he said products containing hemp can pass inspection as long as the product doesn't contain a controlled substance. The bureau frequently is in touch with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.
Approving a formula can take less than 10 days, or sometimes longer, depending on the situation, Hogue said.
"We need to take look at the formula, see if it's something we can approve and then we go from there," Hogue said.
Long Trail first announced its CBD beer in August. Early, small batches were a success, leading to a can release event at Long Trail’s Bridgewater Corners brewery over Presidents’ Day Weekend. The brewery offered four-packs for $19.99, and sold out of 300 cases in three days, according to Vetere.
Medicator is a hybrid IPA/Pale Ale dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic.
"Smooth yet sticky, this beer boasts one of the most unique flavor profiles we've ever developed — with notes of citrus, spice and cannabis," the brewery tweeted in February.
The new batch was expected out this month but it’s unclear when the Treasury Department will give the go-ahead. Once the label is approved, Vetere said the beer will be available solely at the brewery, either in pours or in cans to go.
"We're hoping to hear from them soon and get it back rolling again," Vetere said.