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On August 27, 2019, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (“RMA”) announced that it will provide crop insurance for industrial hemp beginning in the 2020 crop year.  Insurance coverage will be provided under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (“WFRP”) program for hemp producers growing hemp for fiber, flower, or seeds and who are part of a state or university research pilot as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Other producers will be able to obtain insurance in areas…
Today, the FTC issued warning letters to three companies selling CBD products.  The companies, which FTC did not identify publicly, allegedly illegally advertised CBD products as being able to treat or cure serious diseases and health conditions without competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims. As we have written about previously, FTC and the FDA issued similar joint warning letters to three other CBD sellers earlier this year. According to the FTC’s…
On September 4, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the lower court should have abstained from ruling in Big Sky Scientific LLC v. Idaho State Police and determined that Idaho state court provides a satisfactory venue for Big Sky to raise its federal claims. As we discussed in an article earlier this year, Big Sky shipped thousands of pounds of unprocessed hemp from Oregon to Colorado.  During transport, a semi-truck containing the…
On August 30, 2019, the California Senate Appropriations Committee failed to move AB-228 out of the committee and instead held the bill on “Suspense” during its final hearing of the 2019 legislative session.  As we have written previously, AB-228 proposes to establish a regulatory framework for industrial hemp products to be used as a food, beverage, or cosmetic.  Importantly, the bill proposed to state that a food, beverage, or cosmetic is not adulterated by…
On August 27, 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) issued a Federal Notice stating its intent to issue new regulations for its marijuana growers program for scientific and medical research.  The adjustments to its policies and practices will include a transition from the current single-grower system to the addition of multiple registered growers.  To date, DEA has received 33 pending applications from individuals and entities seeking to become registered with DEA to grow marijuana as…
On August 19, 2019, the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”) made an economically significant change to the hemp banking landscape.  As is the case with cannabis businesses generally, hemp operations have faced considerable limitations with respect to access to traditional banking outlets due to federal prohibitions on banking activities relating to cannabis. The NCUA released interim guidance affirming that federally insured credit unions may provide financial services to legally operating hemp businesses. Specifically, credit unions…
On August 9, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Assembly Bill 5322, establishing the state’s program for cultivation, handling, processing, transport, and sale of hemp.  The bill also repeals the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which was passed in late 2018.  Here are some key takeaways from the new law: Under the new law, titled the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act, “hemp” is defined the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of…
CBD marketers can learn something from the food industry.  And it has nothing to do with the regulatory morass around whether CBD can be legally added to foods.  It’s about managing the risk of consumer false advertising litigation.  Lawsuits filed in California and New York help illustrate what kinds of cases are already being brought and suggest that broader food and beverage litigation trends are likely to be instructive. In Horn v. Medical Marijuana, Inc., plaintiffs, a truck…