Cannabis-Infused Beer Was Just Approved for Sale

marijuana beer
General Washington's Secret Stash is infused with cannabinoids.Courtesy Dad and Dudes

No, it won't get you high. But rest assured, the alcohol still works. 

Dad and Dudes Breweria of Aurora, Colorado, has received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to sell its General Washington's Secret Stash IPA brew, which contains cannabinoids (CBDs) — but no THC — in all 50 states. “Cannabinoids are a miracle compound, and I thought it would be a responsible choice to put them into beer,” explains Dad and Dudes co-owner Mason Hembree. “They are an antioxidant and neuro-protectant that have a lot of health benefits.”

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Dad and Dudes has had the brew on tap (under the codename Cannabeer) for more than a year — serving up the CBD-infused recipe in Colorado, where marijuana is legal. Co-owner Mason Hembree and the rest of the Hembree family have been working with the federal government for the same amount of time to get the approval to sell out of state. The TTB required a complete analysis of the ingredients, recipe, and process before it would give formula approval for the Hembrees’ patent-pending process used for infusing the ale and the beer itself. Now that they’ve got the green light, anyone in the U.S. can imbibe in an extra-buzzy IPA.

“We had to find the perfect time in the brewing process to add the CBD to the beer,” Hembree says. “If you add it too early it denatures when we refine the beer because the compound attaches to the brewing yeast.” After the patent on the brewing process is approved, Dad and Dudes will own the rights to the art of combining suds and buds. Each keg of the brew, renamed General Washington's Secret Stash, contains 500 milligrams of cannabinoids, about 4 milligrams per pint.

But for Hembree, bringing cannabis-infused beer to the masses is about more than inventing a new or healthy niche in the craft beer scene. It’s about making a political statement. “Cannabis should be removed from government scheduling completely,” he says. “Even the hemp plant is not legal at the federal level. It’s just stupid.”

That doesn’t mean Dad and Dudes isn’t having fun with the project. The inspiration for the name, General Washington's Secret Stash, came from a stoner classic Dazed and Confused. Inspired by the character Ron Slater’s monologue about President George Washington’s greatest accomplishments, Hembree wanted to use the beer’s label to nod to the fringe subculture who hail Washington as a hemp advocate since he grew it on his Virginia farm and is thought by some to have smoked marijuana. “He was a rebel leader, and this beer is a rebellious idea,” Hembree says.

With its process down and distribution spreading, Dad and Dudes is looking to expand its CBD brews. At the Great American Beer Festival, October 6–8 in Denver, the brewery will be serving five cannabis-infused beers at the, including an IPA, a double IPA, a cream ale, and a Berliner Weiss. 

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