In our previous post, we highlighted that the United Stated Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) published its final rule (the “Final Rule”) regulating the production of industrial hemp under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”). The Final Rule supersedes regulations set forth in the interim final rule published on October 31, 2019 (the “Interim Rule”).

The Final Rule was initially scheduled to take effect on March 22, 2021. However, a White House Memorandum issued by the Biden Administration on January 21, 2021 (the “Biden Memorandum”) effectively “froze” all regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect, including the Final Rule. The Biden Memorandum also granted agencies (such as the USDA) the authority to “consider opening a 30-day comment period.”

As part of the transition to the Biden Administrations, the USDA and many other agencies took this opportunity to review new and pending regulatory actions, including the Final Rule.
Continue Reading USDA Final Rule Takes Effect

A new California Proposition 65 mandate took effect on January 3, requiring health warning labels for all cannabis products sold in the state.  Failure to comply with the requirements can and will result in enforcement against cannabis producers and sellers, resulting in hefty penalties.  Here’s what you need to know.
Continue Reading California Laws Regarding Health and Safety Warnings for Cannabis Have Changed: Are You In Compliance?

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“the “FDA”) in enforcing laws related to marketing CBD products. The FDA has historically issued warning letters and pursued companies that illegally market CBD products with claims the products may treat medical conditions.  The FTC has joined the FDA is this pursuit and announced settlements with six different CBD companies involves fines ranging between $20,000-$85,000 in addition to notifications provided to consumers.  Pursuant to these settlement agreements the respondent companies are also prohibited from similar marketing efforts in the future, any health claims must have scientific evidence to support them.

Industry actors making any health or therapeutic claims are vulnerable to action by agencies such as the FDA and FTC, however, they may also be subject to civil suits based on enforcement by those agencies. In April of 2020 Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (“CWB”) was served with yet another (its second) class action lawsuit due to how their products are labeled. Benson v. Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00418 (N.D. Ill.)  The suit based a significant portion of the allegations on FDA guidance:

 “Based on available evidence, FDA has concluded that THC and CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under section 201(ff)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(3)(B)]. Under that provision, if a substance (such as THC or CBD) is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 355], or has been authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public, then products containing that substance are excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement”

Companies facing enforcement actions by the FTC may similarly be subject to civil allegations.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Continue Reading CBD Companies Now Facing Monetary Penalties For Deceptive Marketing, Will Civil Liability Follow?

Earlier this year the City of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses created the Marijuana Licensing Work Group (the “MLWG”). This week the MLWG released draft legislation regarding a continued license cap, licensing categories, and Social Equity Applicants. If passed the legislation would have some noteworthy impacts.
Continue Reading City of Denver Releases Proposed Legislation To Extend The Current Licensing Mortarium, Creation Of Social Equity Opportunities, And Development Of A Delivery Framework

In our previous posts,[1] we discussed why state-legal medical and recreational marijuana businesses are likely not eligible to receive federal financial assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program due to the fact that these businesses are inherently engaged in federally illegal activities.

While our view has not necessarily changed, this post is intended to highlight

bright green marijuana plant

On Thursday April 23, 2020, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) introduced the “Emergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act” in the House. Blumenauer and Perlmutter have been influential in protecting state-legal marijuana businesses from federal interference, most recently under the 2020 federal appropriations rider.

If passed, the Act would

Different glass bottles with CBD OIL, THC tincture and cannabis leaves on yellow background. Flat lay, minimalism. Cosmetics CBD oil.

In our previous post, we touched on the fact that state-legal medical and recreational marijuana businesses (including indirect marijuana businesses) could not receive federal financial assistance due to marijuana’s continued Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”).  While state-legal medical and recreational marijuana businesses have been adversely affected due to government imposed

The below discussion is an analysis of the current legal environment in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis highlights the ability of both medical and retail marijuana businesses to continue operating in light of several emergency orders from the State of Illinois and emergency variances from regulatory agencies. This summary is not a

The below discussion is an analysis of the current legal environment related to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis highlights the ability of both medical and retail businesses to continue operating in light of several emergency orders from the State of Colorado and emergency rule changes from the Marijuana Enforcement Division (“MED”). This summary is not a legal opinion, but rather perspective and analysis on the current status of such emergency rules and orders. The content provided herein is subject to change as the laws and interpretation of such laws change.

STATE ANALYSIS

Below is a summary of the current status of Governor Polis’ Executive Orders, Colorado Department of Public Health’s (“CDPHE”) Public Health Orders (“PHO”), Emergency Rules, and MED Guidance (the “Releases”) updated as of March 30, 2020.  For ease of reference, at the end of this summary is a link to all applicable Releases.
Continue Reading HB Analysis of Recent COVID-19 Announcements by the State of Colorado and the Marijuana Enforcement Division

President Trump is back at it again with his most recent inconsistent stance on marijuana.  “As part of his recently released fiscal year 2021 budget plan, Trump proposed ending an existing policy that protects state medical marijuana programs from Justice Department interference in addition to a provision that would continue to prohibit the District