Recreational Marijuana

This bud’s for you … or is it?

This bud’s for you … or is it?

Not coming soon to a tap handle near you: beerijuana.

While the sale of recreational marijuana became legal in California on Jan. 1, weed is still illegal under federal law. That’s a key distinction for brewers, as beer ingredients are regulated by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

“All breweries need a federal permit to manufacture alcohol,” said Candace Moon, a San Diego lawyer who represents craft breweries. Pot-infused beer “is not going to be legal until it’s legal federally.”

For decades, though, brewers have worked within the law to develop beers that mimic marijuana’s aromas and flavors. Pizza Port’s Chronic Ale, for instance, was originally...