People who are hoping for an extra kick from the beer they order in the future would be sadly disappointed under a bill proposed in the state Senate this week.
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced a bill that would ban the sale of marijuana-infused beers in Michigan, whether the pint was alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
“I’ve been studying the problems that have been created in Colorado following the legalization of marijuana,” he said. “And marijuana-infused beer is a recipe for disaster.”
Colorado is the only state that allows for marijuana-infused beer, but it’s only a non-alcoholic version made by the inventor of the popular Blue Moon beer.
Jones is worried about the possibility of mixing beer and marijuana because edible forms of cannabis affect people differently and take different amounts of time to take affect.
“Bartenders are required right now to judge how much a patron has had to drink. It’s hard enough to do with alcohol without adding in THC,” he said, referring to the active ingredient in marijuana that provides the “high” that many cannabis users are seeking. “The other element — you can drive with a small amount of alcohol in your system, but you can’t drive with any level of THC. There is zero tolerance.”
So if a bar is serving pot-spiked beer, it could be held liable if the patron drives away from the bar, he said.
“There are liability issues for the bar and it’s simply a product that Michigan doesn’t need,” he said.
Michigan voters approved medical marijuana in 2008 and could consider a ballot proposal to fully legalize marijuana for adult recreational use during the Nov. 6 general election.
There is a wide variety of marijuana-infused edible products on the market, including gummies, baked goods, juices, gum, even dog treats. There are some marijuana-infused craft beers that contain cannabidiol for flavor, but not the THC.
Under Jones’ bill — SB 969 — no part of the marijuana plant could be infused into beer for sale in Michigan.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Regulatory Reform committee and is expected to get a hearing soon, Jones said.