Cannabis may largely be illegal in Texas, but soon those with a thirst for beer will be able to drink a pint infused with it.
Dad and Dude's Breweria in Aurora, Colo. created what's billed as the country's first cannabis beer, called General Washington's Secret Stash IPA, and beginning next year it will be available nationwide. Including the Lone Star State?
"Absolutely," said brewery co-founder Tom "Dad" Hembree, who spoke to GuideLive at Great American Beer Festival in Denver. "We're moving to make it a national beer."
How is this possible?
Let's start by saying this beer won't give you any buzz other than from the alcohol.
General Washington's Secret Stash IPA is brewed using cannabidiol, or CBD, which is a derivative of hemp. Both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant family, however, the former boasts little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC or the active ingredient that gets weed smokers high.
Brian Connery, Dad and Dude's director of brewery operations, uses dried CBD oil from Bluebird Botanicals in Bloomfield, Colo., and administers it by the barrel or keg using a patent-pending process. Each pint has about 4 milligrams of cannabis, Connery said. And again, he emphasizes drinking a six-pick will not get you stoned or show up on a drug test.
"It has nothing to do with marijuana," Connery said.
Dad and Dude's Breweria launched Secret Stash in Colorado in 2015 under the name Sativa 420% Legal IPA and it has since been available at select bars in the state. At Great American Beer Festival, Hembree and crew served several CBD beers, including an orange cream ale and imperial IPA.
While the Secret Stash IPA doesn't taste like Blue Dream or OG Kush, it is pretty dang delicious if you're a hophead.
General Washington's Secret Stash will be the first cannabis beer to be distributed nationwide, though Hembree expects to roll out others thereafter. Since Dad and Dude's only operates a 1.5-barrel brewing system, it is working to partner with breweries throughout the country to produce the beer and has inked a deal with Beverage 364 to distribute it. Expect to find it in cans, kegs and bottles in 2017.
So if not to get a buzz, what are the perks of a cannabis beer?
One investor in the beer told me at GABF she got on board because believes in the health benefits of CBD.
The product, which is often available as a lotion or patch, is lauded for its medicinal qualities that include relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis and seizures, according to Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes cannabis education and therapeutics. And in fact, the state of Texas recently got on board with CBD. In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into the law the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which allows epilepsy patients to have access to medical cannabis rich in CBD. There's already a grow house in operation in Gunter, Texas.
But let's be real: People are likely going to buy General Washington's Secret Stash for the novelty over any perceived health benefits. It's not the first legal cannabis product to be sold in Texas, either. Cannabis Energy Drink is available in the U.S. -- we spotted it at the Amsterdam Falafelshop in Deep Ellum recently -- and there is even talk of a hemp coffee shop and smoothie bar coming to Frisco.