California’s Prop 19 is about the control and taxation of marijuana, not legalization per se, but it’s still seen as a step in the right direction by many beer lovers. The 420 Times has part of the story. Because of the CBBD’s donation and opposition to Prop 19, I’ve seen a number of sharp denunciations from many beer enthusiasts, criticizing both breweries who appear on the CBBD’s website and by extension the California Small Brewers Association.
Since I work with the CSBA, I wanted to set the record straight. The CSBA does not take a stand on non-industry related issues and has no stated position on Prop 19. The CSBA is strictly a grass roots organization and does not contribute PAC money to any initiative or make campaign contributions to any candidates.
The CBBD is made up strictly of beer distributors in California. They are independent beverage distributors and are not directly associated with craft brewers. Of course, most, if not all, of the CBBD distributors do business with craft breweries throughout the state. But the CBBD does not represent in any way the political interests of the craft brewing community or individual breweries.
I’ve written about this before, but the interests of distributors and breweries do not always align, and this is yet another example. Presumably, distributors feel that making marijuana commercially available represents competition for the products they sell, and that’s why they oppose it. Most craft breweries, I suspect, do not feel similarly threatened by Prop 19, but regardless of any brewery’s individual stance on it, the CBBD does not speak for them or the CSBA.