Cannabis Law Update

Updates on Laws, Regulations and Trends Impacting the Cannabis Industry

An employer ordered to reimburse a worker for his purchase of medical marijuana – as part of a workers’ compensation claim – is not in danger of violating the federal Controlled Substances Act, according to an important decision rendered by the New Jersey Appellate Division this week. In Vincent Hager v. M&K Construction, Case No. A-0102-18T3 (N.J. App. Div.), the court grappled with a potential conflict between the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), 21 U.S.C. §…
The push and pull on CBD regulation continues. Earlier this week, Minnesota Representative Colin Peterson introduced a H.R. 5587, which would regulate CBD as a dietary supplement.  Specifically, the bill would amend the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to add “other than hemp-derived cannabidiol” after the term “article” in Section 21 U.S.C. 321 (ff)(3)(B).  If passed, the statute would effectively read as follows: “The term dietary supplement … does … not include an…
A new potential class action minefield cropped up in 2019 – challenges to cannabis companies’ marketing practices under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), with one major medical marijuana company already forced to defend its text messaging practices in Florida federal court. On December 9, a class action complaint was filed in the Northern District of Florida against Trulieve, Inc., alleging that Trulieve transmitted unsolicited text messages offering cannabis products and promotions to several thousands…
In an important decision for cannabis companies facing class action litigation over the alleged misbranding of products containing CBD, a Southern District of Florida court recently held that because the FDA is exercising regulatory authority over the labeling of CBD products, litigation must be halted until the FDA completes its rulemaking. Thus, the court stayed the case of Snyder v. Green Roads of Florida, Case No. 0:19-cv-62342-UU (S.D. Fla.) pursuant to the primary jurisdiction doctrine.…
On January 2, 2020, a federal district court judge in Minnesota found that a local hemp farmer had a constitutionally-protected property interest in his hemp growing license, and that the license could not be revoked by the state without adequate procedural protections.  The hemp farmer, Luis Miguel Hummel, had his license revoked by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (“MDA”) following a report from law enforcement that some of Hummel’s hemp products containing concentrations of THC…
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has finalized the listing of “cannabis (marijuana) smoke” and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as reproductive toxins under Proposition 65. The listings are effective as of January 3, 2020.  Under Prop 65, enforcement of the warning requirements begins one year after listing, which, in this case, gives businesses until January 3, 2021, to determine if warnings are required for their products and, if so, to post a proper warning (such as…
The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the production and sale of hemp, allows states and Indian tribes to create and administer their own hemp production plans. Pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) is authorized to approve state and tribal hemp production plants. On December 27, 2019, the USDA announced that it had approved for the first time six hemp production plan. The approvals include plans submitted by three…
Just in time for the holidays – and the growing season – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted new registrations for pesticides to be used on hemp crops, including, for the first time, hemp used in the production of cannabidiol (CBD) products.  The new approvals add hemp to the list of crops to which the 10 pesticide products, each of which already is registered for use on a variety of other crops, can…
Earlier this month, two federal courts—one in the Southern District of New York, another in the Western District of Washington—analyzed the issue of whether a federal court has jurisdiction to hear what would otherwise be routine breach of contract cases involving cannabis. Even though the cannabis-based businesses were legal at the state level in both cases, both courts came to the conclusion that the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) likely divested them of jurisdiction to…
As we previously reported, on October 31, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released its highly anticipated interim final rule governing hemp regulations.  The interim final rule outlines provisions for USDA to approve plans submitted by states and Indian tribes for the domestic production of hemp. It also establishes a federal plan for producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own USDA-approved plan.  The interim final rule…