Hemp to Get You High—in Vodka Form
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A new booze variant aims to kill two birds with one stoner this 4/20: hemp seed vodka. The Alaska Distillery—a Wasilla-based company previously known for making smoked-salmon flavored vodka—has introduced "Purgatory": the first vodka distilled with hemp seeds, just in time for the High Holy Day. Created by the Alaska Distillery’s resident “mad scientist” and chief executive officer, Toby Foster, the spirit is expected to become a best seller, if not the best seller for the distillery. “To compete in the alcohol industry these days, you have to be innovative and you have to bring in new products and you have to be imaginative,” says Foster, “this product right here lends itself to all three things.” And it certainly is imaginative. Even in countries where the production of hemp seeds is not banned, manufacturers don’t distill with hemp seeds—they simply add them to the bottles. But Purgatory is distilled with hemp seeds that have been sterilized, so there will be no getting high from the beverage. In fact, a sample from each batch must be tested by federal regulators to make sure there are no traces of THC. The Hemp Industries Association hopes that Purgatory will serve as an example that quality products can be made from hemp, and that it should be once again legal to grow and process the plant in the US. The Alaska Distillery hopes to make a fast buck from the novelty value.