Legislative Update: Louisiana Senator Wants Younger Adults to Drink; Massachusetts Says No to CBD Beer

Louisiana Lawmaker Suggests Looser Drinking Laws

Louisiana Sen. Eric LaFleur has offered the “Louisiana Responsible Adult Consumption Act” — Senate Bill 429 — which would allow 19- and 20-year-olds to buy and drink alcoholic beverages as long as they’ve obtained a certificate, the Daily Advertiser reported.

“If you drink at a house party, you tend to be less responsible,” LaFleur told the outlet. “It’s easier to get an opioid or a bag of weed than it is to get freaking alcohol. It’s crazy.”

In an interview with the outlet, LaFleur said he hoped the bill would encourage younger drinkers to consume responsibly in public spaces rather than in private places such as house parties. He believes public consumption offers additional safeguards along with social pressure to be responsible.

LaFleur’s proposal would require younger drinkers to receive a certificate called the Louisiana Alcohol Consumption Certificate by taking an educational course similar to a server’s class. Parental consent would also be required.

After the bill was introduced on March 12, it was referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

Louisiana’s legal drinking age was raised from 18 to 21 in 1986 in order to avoid losing federal highway funding.

Massachusetts ABCC Reinforces CBD Ban

The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has issued an advisory reinforcing a ban on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in alcoholic beverages.

“Even though retail sales of cannabis are expected to become lawful starting July 1, 2018, it will remain unlawful to manufacture and/or sell alcoholic beverages containing any cannabinoid extracts, including tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”), regardless of whether it is derived from the cannabis plant or industrial hemp,” the ABCC stated.

According to the state regulatory agency, cannabinoid is still considered a Schedule 1 drug and infusing it into alcoholic beverages would violate FDA regulations.

Due to those restrictions, Everett-based Down the Road Beer Co. has nixed a plan to add CBD to its Goopmassta Session IPA.

“In the spirit of innovation, Down The Road Beer Co. was intent on releasing the first beer brewed with CBD in Massachusetts,” spokesman Alex Weaver wrote to Brewbound. “We’re disappointed the current laws haven’t caught up to our drive to innovate.”

Meanwhile, in Vermont, the release of Long Trail Brewing’s Medicator IPA, which the company claims is the first CBD-infused beer in the state, has been delayed until the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) grants federal label approval to the beer, according to the Seven Days alternative weekly newspaper.

South Dakota Gov. Signs Production Cap Increase

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill that will increase the production cap on breweries that operate taprooms and sell directly to consumers from its current 5,000-barrel limit to 30,000 barrels, according to the Brookings Register.

Under the new law, the state will create a new microbrewery license that allows breweries to produce up to 30,000 barrels of beer annually while retaining the right to operate up to five additional off-site taprooms.

The new law, which will take effect in July, will also permit brewers to self-distribute up to 1,500 barrels of beer to bars and retailers.

Kansas Lawmakers Tackle Alcoholic Candy, Stronger Beer

Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill to regulate alcoholic candy in a similar way to other alcoholic beverages, the Lawrence Journal World reported.

The bill puts the Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division in charge of alcoholic candy. The bill would also allow the state’s craft breweries to begin making stronger offerings by raising the limit on alcohol by weight from 10 percent (12.5 percent ABV) to 15 percent (18.75 percent ABV).

The bill passed the Senate on March 14, and lawmakers are now conferring on amendments.

Additionally, the Kansas Senate has passed a bill to legalize self-serve beer tap machines, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Self-serve wine machines are already legal in the state, and 46 states allow self-serve beer taps, the outlet reported.

The proposal in Kansas would allow consumers to serve themselves up to 32 ounces of beer per session.

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