The era of CBD-laced alcoholic beverages has finally arrived in metro Detroit. Royal Oak patrons at restaurant and bar Ale Mary’s Beer Hall can now chill out with a CBD cocktail. The bar, which appears to be one of the first in metro Detroit to experiment with the ingredient, rolled out a new menu today featuring three drinks that use a CBD soda called Sprig as a mixer.
CBD, a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, has been promoted in recent years as a pain relief remedy and anti-anxiety aid. It’s noteworthy that the majority of these CBD products making health claims haven’t receive approval by the FDA. Still, the market for CBD-infused products from coffee to brownies has grown exponentially in the past few years.
Although Michigan legalized marijuana last year, marijuana and CBD products still fall into legal gray areas. Last year, ahead of the vote to legalize recreational marijuana, lawmakers preemptively enacted a regulation prohibiting the use, possession, or sale of marijuana-infused beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks. CBD oil regulations are also murky, though state representatives have begun efforts to loosen restrictions on their use.
Ale Mary’s owner Nick Ritts tells Eater that he consulted with his liquor and marijuana attorney, a distributor, and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before moving forward with the new CBD cocktails. “There currently isn’t any legislation regarding CBD soda,” he says, noting that the soda Ale Mary’s uses derives CBD from hemp rather than marijuana. Eater has reached out to the MLCC for more information.
The three cocktails developed by Ale Mary’s beverage director Pam Stigall include the Aunt Bee’s CBD Southern Tea (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, amaretto, lemon, mint, lemon tea, and CBD soda), the Raspberry Citrus Hemparita (Muddled raspberries and lime, simple syrup, Altos Tequila, brandy, and citrus CBD soda), and the Mellow Melon (Muddled strawberries, simple syrup, Tito’s Vodka, and melon CBD soda). The cocktails cost between $10 and $11.
While it might be the first, Ale Mary’s probably won’t be the last bar to start incorporating CBD into drinks. The ingredient is trending right now across the country and seems primed to infiltrate Michigan even more with the relaxation of cannabis laws.
Update: This story has been updated with additional details about the CBD soda.