German lager Cannabis withdrawn from sale after packaging complaints

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Related tags: Portman group

A German lager is to be withdrawn from sale after it fell foul of packaging guidelines.Cannabis, which features a prominent leaf on its label, was...

A German lager is to be withdrawn from sale after it fell foul of packaging guidelines.

Cannabis, which features a prominent leaf on its label, was the subject of a complaint to The Portman Group, which is expected to order licensees to stop ordering it from September 22.

A report leaked to the Publican states that the brand, imported by NCE Limited, contravenes the industry's voluntary Code of Practice.

Brand development director Michael Sowter said: "This is an absurd decision and we cannot understand how they can deprive a company from carrying out its day-to-day business.

"We are taking the product off the market. When remaining supplies run out, that's it. When it's gone, it's gone."

He was angry that the ruling, which followed a complaint from the Scottish Council on Alcohol Abuse, applied not only to the eight per cent ABV version of the brand, but also to the lighter 4.9 per cent variety .

He said the company would return at Christmas with a new brand called Heaven-Bräu, a 4.9 per cent product which would be sold at £10.25 for 24 bottles.

It is believed to be the first time a product has been withdrawn as a result of action by The Portman Group.

Other products have changed their packaging, including major brands such as Bass' Hooper's Hooch.

Sowter added: "The big companies which back The Portman Group seem to get away with far more than the little companies are allowed to."

The Portman Group refused to confirm that it had made any decision, or to comment on any part of NCE's statement in advanced of its scheduled report in two weeks' time.

The Portman Group was granted powers in 1997 to order stockists to delist products which contravene its voluntary code of practice on packaging.

Publicans who refuse to obey such orders face losing their licences.

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