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Alcohol and Cannabis Ventures: Top 4 Legal Considerations

The legalization of marijuana in the USA is a slow process. Currently, the fifty US states are regulating their own approach to legalization. They now fall into one of four “levels” of legality for marijuana:

  1. Legal
  2. Legal for medical use
  3. Legal for medical use (limited THC content)
  4. Illegal

To make things a bit more complicated, some states decriminalized marijuana from each of the three latter groups. Finally, marijuana is still illegal in the eyes of federal law. 

That makes approaching the idea of starting a marijuana-oriented business quite complex, from a legal standpoint and even more for joint alcohol and cannabis ventures.

Still, if “I Love Growing Marijuana!” is something you truly mean, then this is the best time to do it. 

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest legal considerations you need to be aware of before investing in joint alcohol and cannabis ventures.

The various levels of the legality of Cannabis-infused products

The global trend of cannabis decriminalization and legalization has driven many businesses from various niches to jump on the bandwagon. It was additionally fueled by the tremendous support the legalization movement got from artists and celebrities who openly support it. 

This led to an influx of “cannabis-powered” products that caused people to ask: “How many ways do we need to get high?” The truth behind these products, however, is a bit different.

Most “hybrid” products don’t contain either CBD or THC, which are the plant’s primary active substances. There are shampoos, candles, and all kinds of products which basically just rip off the edginess of the plant to push their products. They have no legal issues as their products don’t contain potentially illegal substances.

When it comes to alcohol infused with cannabis pink kush strain, things are a bit different. There are two types of hybrid products like these. One type doesn’t legally qualify as an alcohol product; the other doesn’t qualify as a weed-based product. 

That’s because the Business and Professions Code § 26300 prohibits the acquisition of both weed and alcohol licenses to sell products from the same register. Due to the same reason, you’d be unable to produce any products that combine active substances of cannabis or hemp and alcohol. 


Regardless of whether you want to run a marijuana-focused venture or combine that with an alcohol venture, MAUCRSA is the most important legal action you should get acquainted with. Its full name is Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, and you should read it multiple times, top to bottom. 

This will allow you to get acquainted with the finer details of the act, making you aware of all the potential surprises that might come your way. If you are in the marijuana business, there is no legal document that is more important out there. 

Is hemp considered the same thing as cannabis under the law?

In 2018 hemp was differentiated from marijuana and is legally considered a separate plant. Still, if you intend to use agricultural and industrial hemp, you are going to face some issues. 

Namely, many experts claim that it is easier to get licensing to sell cannabis than to prove that your hemp fits the proposed governmental standard for fair use of hemp. The process for meeting these standards is quite complicated and too long to discuss here. 

One of the reasons this is so complicated is the involvement of different government agencies in the regulation of these types of products. They include:

  1. DEA
  2. TTB
  3. FDA 
  4. FTC
  5. FDA

All these agencies, along with your local agencies, have a role to play in regulating licensing and proper manufacturing and distribution of cannabis seeds or products. This means that checks can come from any of these agencies, and not being adequately prepared can cause a world of trouble for your organization. 

Licensing for parties, events, and promotions

Many believe that there is a workaround to the law whereby simply allowing the guests to BYOB or BYOC, you avoid being liable to legal action. Unfortunately, things are not as simple, and you should not try this as it is a myth.

First, if you choose to organize a promotional event, you’ll have to have a license to consume marijuana products on-premise. That doesn’t mean alcohol can be served at these events. You’ll have to get a state license for larger fairground affairs, and you still can’t serve alcohol. 

The most viable option is hosting on private, unsolicited property with explicit permission from the owner. This event cannot involve transactions of any kind (tickets, memberships, sale of drinks or other products), marketing, promotion, and there are numerous other restrictions concerning this approach. 

Things are looking up!

While the combined market for alcohol and cannabis products is still facing too many legal implications to be appropriately combined, things are getting better. 

First of all, reading this text, you’d get quite a grim impression that cannabis has hit a legal boundary, it cannot breach, but it is all a matter of regulation.

The legal issues we face today will change as more US states legalize marijuana and regulations, and their enforcement settles in a little better.

In the meantime, we warn you to research your legal options before combining marijuana with alcohol-based products. Find out precisely what you can legally do and avoid putting yourself and your business into legally liable situations.

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