Written by | Hemp and Cannabis Updates

In the state of Tennessee, we have special regulations which allow the production and sale of “infused” alcoholic beverage products by licensed alcoholic beverage on-premise consumption retailers, such as bars, restaurants, and hotels.  Pursuant to statute, the retailer is allowed to combine an alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic beverage or product with the intention (and requirement) of letting the product sit (i.e., infuse) for a period of time in order to create the final product.  Tennessee law prohibits using any ingredient in an infusion that is an “added stimulant,” drug, or illegal substance.  The retailer is also prohibited from transporting the infusion product from the licensed premises, and all alcoholic beverages used to produce the infusion must be obtained from a licensed wholesaler.  

We are frequently asked what licensed retailers can and cannot do with cannabis products, specifically, industrial hemp products.  Given the tight limitations and definition of infusions or infused products in Tennessee, we do not believe industrial hemp would be viewed by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission as an acceptable infusion ingredient.  However, there is no prohibition under Tennessee law for licensed retailers mixing cocktails, made to order, with industrial hemp used as a cocktail ingredient.   

Statutory Authority

Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-4-108.  Infusions or Infused Products

(a) As used in this title, “infusion” or “infused product” means any product created from the combining or mixing of an alcoholic beverage with nonalcoholic products or material over a sustained period of time, and at the time of the combination or mixing, the combination or mixture is not intended for immediate consumption.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, an establishment licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption pursuant to this part may produce, store and sell infusions pursuant to this section.

(2) The commission may promulgate rules and regulations regarding the production, storage, and sale of infusions by any licensee in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

(c) All alcoholic beverages used in the production of an infusion must be purchased from a licensed wholesaler.

(d) A batch of infused product shall not:

(1) Contain any added stimulant, drug, or illegal substance; provided, that “added stimulant”:

(A) Means any stimulant used in the production of the infusion that is not naturally contained in any food product or beverage used in the production of the infusion; and

(B) Includes, but is not limited to, caffeine, guarana, ginseng, and taurine and any product or beverage which includes stimulants that are not naturally included in the product or beverage, including, but not limited to, energy drinks;

(2) Be removed or transported from the licensed premises; or

(3) Be infused in, stored in, or dispensed from an original package of liquor or wine, or a container bearing an alcoholic beverage name brand.

(e) A batch of infused product shall be labeled with a list of each ingredient contained in the infusion.

Last modified: July 5, 2022