Portman Group bans cannabis drinks

05 December, 2007

A range of cannabis-flavoured alcoholic drinks have been banned in the UK by the industry’s own responsible drinking watchdog.

Retailers across the UK will remove the drinks from shelves, in what the Portman Group described as a “blatant breach” of good practice on marketing alcohol.

Portman launched an inquiry after receiving a public complaint about the drinks, which included cannabis-flavoured vodka, gin and rum. They were made by Spanish firm Beveland and sold in the UK by Ultimate Brands.

Drinks makers in the UK are particularly sensitive about responsible marketing practices at the moment, following new criticism from their influential health groups.

David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group, said the cannabis case was unusual, however.

“Too many young adults these days regard alcohol and illicit drugs as interchangeable. The industry must not contribute to this attitude but instead distance itself totally from illegal drugs.”

He said an “overwhelming majority” of drinks firms marketed their products responsibly.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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