An official for the state Department of Liquor Control has given the green light for restaurateurs to add CBD to alcoholic drinks. According to an email to the Vermont Cannabis News from Sgt. Martin Prevost, an administrator for the agency, CBD tincture or distillate can be added directly prior to the point of sale as a mixer but not to infuse alcoholic beverages.
“After some review and research, it has been determined that this would be permissible as described,” he wrote.
Ari Fishman, owner of Waterbury Center-based Zenbarn, welcomed the news; excited to experiment with the cannabinoid in his kitchen. Once a week Fishman partners with Vermont Cannabis Brands for a Greener Drinks event in an effort to bring “together people to discuss anything from home medicinal uses to new business ventures in this exciting new industry.”
With the clarification from Prevost, Fishman plans to roll out CBD-mixers to his menu permanently and “definitely interested in playing with some ideas in the kitchen.”
“We are working away at coming up with some cocktails that highlight the ingredient along with our world-class Vermont spirits,” he said. “As a mission-driven organization, Zenbarn is committed to building a healthier, stronger community. CBD, like cannabis and other agricultural products, can drive revenue into the hands of our local small businesses, farmers and support the health of our community.”
Daniel Giangreco, founder and CEO of Vermont Cannabis Brands and Vermont Cannabis Association board president, said he has been waiting for the clarification from the department to expand Greener Drinks to other venues throughout the state.
“Up to this point it’s been pretty ambiguous. People have been perceiving that it wasn’t allowed,” he explained, noting that he had received a preliminary approval about three months ago from Prevost for Greener Drinks prior to the now-official go-ahead. The event, he explained, is part of the VCA “effort to enhance industry and hemp products in retail and restaurant locations.”
“It’s part of a larger plan to educate business owners on the value-added quality of CBD and hoping to expand its use,” he said.
At least two other restaurants – Burlington’s Monarch & the Milkweed and Green Goddess Café in Stowe – are offering CBD infused-products.