Why can't I find THC-infused booze anywhere in this crummy town?

THAT'S A TOUGH ONE. Despite the fact that you can now buy pot and beer at hundreds of spots around Portland, you cannot buy both in the same place and you definitely cannot buy them in the same bottle. Marijuana remains federally illegal, you know. No alcohol maker, supplier, or brewery regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is going to risk making THC-infused booze. Doing so would cause them to lose their federal licensing and would put their shareholders at risk of accessory liability under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

I could see a plucky local brewery giving it a shot, despite the federal regulations. The issue there, however, is state regulation and distribution. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission would almost certainly bar the sale or supply of such a remarkable product anywhere in Oregon. Our regulators are still quite nervous about marijuana edibles and infused products (they are writing the rules on those right now, in fact, which is why you can't yet buy edibles at the dispensary). And officials have not approved THC-infused booze in Colorado or Washington or anywhere else.

I have also heard the argument that "Big Alcohol" doesn't get along with the burgeoning marijuana industry and is not motivated to fight for the right to make cannabis drinks. The logic is that marijuana is a substitute for alcohol and will eventually seize a good piece of the "happy-hour market share" from the beer, wine, and spirits industry. So Big Alcohol would like to keep separate things separate. This is ironic because alcohol was once criminalized and politically demonized, but overcame prohibition by way of states' rights and a tax-and-regulate model. That is what marijuana is doing today.

The whole idea that marijuana is a substitute for alcohol, and that pot legalization hurts the spirits industry, may also be flawed. In May 2014, the National Bureau of Economic Research conducted a study in states with medical marijuana that showed alcohol consumption had actually increased. Neither this study nor weed and alcohol's shared history mean that industry partnerships will emerge, but it is reasonable to believe that the two can coexist quite nicely (again, just not in the same bottle).

I doubt this will change anytime soon. The public is unlikely to rally around the mixing of marijuana and alcohol and therefore, no politician is going to make it a priority. Although I am sure that you and your friends can judiciously indulge in both at once, you probably know lots of people who cannot. And so do the regulators.