Cannabis Law Update

Updates on Laws, Regulations and Trends Impacting the Cannabis Industry

In a somewhat mixed decision for cannabis company defendants, a false advertising class action lawsuit will proceed in the Southern District of Florida – and not be halted while waiting for guidance from the FDA – although some of the claims relating to products not purchased by the plaintiff were dismissed. The case, Potter v. PotNetwork Holdings Inc. et al., case number 1:19-cv-24017 (S.D. Florida), was one of more than 10 mislabeling class action…
As we have written about here and on our sister blog, Ad Law Access, regulators have wasted no time in taking enforcement actions against companies’ alleged false marketing around COVID-19. Just today, the Office of the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) sent a cease and desist letter to CBD company Finest Herbalist for marketing through emails, text messages, and websites that consumers could use its products to “[f]ight back against the coronavirus outbreak,” among…
Legal hemp businesses suffering from the economic devastation caused by coronavirus are eligible for emergency aid programs included in the $2.2 trillion federal economic stimulus package – and can start applying for that monetary relief immediately. While medical and recreational marijuana companies will not be able to benefit from the coronavirus stimulus package because marijuana remains federally illegal (even though many states have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational purposes), hemp companies should encounter no…
In the midst of continued enforcement regarding coronavirus marketing, FDA sent a warning letter to NeuroXPF concerning advertising for its CBD products alleging that they can boost immune systems to help consumers avoid contracting the virus. Citing the need to take “urgent measures to protect consumers” in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, FDA advised NeuroXPF to remove claims indicating that the company’s products mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. NeuroXPF’s website included claims…
In an important step intended to expand marijuana research, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) unveiled a long-awaited rule proposal last week that would permit the agency to issue additional growing licenses for research-grade cannabis. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was highly anticipated: the DEA issued a Federal Notice last summer stating its intent to adjust the policies and practices of its marijuana growers program following a three-year wait since the agency first announced it was…
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country, many businesses have closed temporarily under “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” orders – but cannabis companies largely have been exempted from this trend. A variety of different jurisdictions across the county have deemed cannabis companies as “essential” – alongside more traditional businesses such as grocery stores, doctors’ offices, pharmacies and gas stations. While initial guidance on whether marijuana businesses fell into the “essential” category was somewhat unclear – and…
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached pandemic levels, companies of all sizes and in all industries face myriad impacts to business operations and the health and well-being of employees. To help clients navigate these new challenges, including the unpredictability of any outbreak-related business disruption, Kelley Drye has compiled a free resource center to help businesses navigate this uncertain environment. Check it out for articles, webinars, and blog posts that cover a range of topics, including…
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue testified yesterday at a subcommittee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  USDA’s 2021 budget request was the reason for the hearing, but there was also key discussion around the agency’s hemp rules.   Excerpted highlights include the following: Sen. Merkley (D-OR). Hemp has many issues on how we adjust to the testing. We forwarded a series of recommendations from Oregon Commerce, similar to Kentucky Commerce – regarding flexibility on how many days…
Earlier this week, FDA sent its status report regarding a potential CBD enforcement discretion policy to Congress.  As we wrote here, FDA was required to issue the report per the Joint Explanatory Statement attached to the 2020 Ag Appropriations Bill.  Here is our analysis and report highlights: Overall Status: The report is consistent with FDA’s public statements and enforcement regarding CBD. FDA acknowledges the vast proliferation of CBD but remains concerned about safety risks. …
Partner Matt Luzadder was quoted in Bloomberg Law’s February 18, 2020, article, “Unions Elbow Into Pot Industry With State-Backed ‘Peace’ Deals.” The cannabis industry is estimated to grow to $30 billion in sales by 2025. Accompanying that estimate is the expectation of a significant expansion in labor force across all states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use. But in a controversial move, some unions are asking states to mandate that pot companies sign…