In a historic move, today, President Joe Biden announced a three-step program to bring broad changes to federal cannabis policy. As an initial step towards reform, President Biden will pardon all federal offenders convicted of simple marijuana possession. According to administration officials, the pardons will be issued through an administration process overseen by the Department of Justice. Those eligible for the pardons will receive documentation showing they were officially forgiven for their crime.
Sarah Blitz is an associate in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office and leader of the firm’s Cannabis industry team.
On May 4, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to five companies it asserts are illegally marketing products labeled as containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Simultaneously, FDA issued a new consumer update “5 Things to Know about Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol – Delta-8 THC.” The consumer update and warning letters are a continuation and expansion of FDA’s efforts to warn the public about products that are not approved under the FDCA and to rein in the rapidly expanding market of products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids. This set of warning letters marks the first time FDA has publicly taken enforcement action against products containing Delta-8 THC, and it will likely not be the last.
Continue Reading Warning! FDA Issues Warning Letters for Products Containing Delta-8 THC
On Thursday, March 24, 2022, the Senate unanimously passed the CMRE Act (Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act) and House leadership scheduled the MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity and Expungement Act) for a floor vote this week.
Continue Reading Movement On CMRE Act and MORE Act On Capitol Hill
In a win for much of the booming hemp products industry, on October 6, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB-45 into law. AB-45 is comprehensive legislation that regulates and legitimizes many industrial hemp products. The law excludes from the list of permissible products inhalable hemp products. The law takes effect immediately and supersedes the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) 2018 “FAQ” guidance on hemp-derived CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and pet food. The new law allows for the inclusion of hemp and cannabinoids (e.g., CBD), extracts, or derivatives of hemp in food and beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and pet food.
Continue Reading AB-45: California Finally Welcomes Hemp Products To The Marketplace
On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the publication of its hemp production Final Rule in the Federal Register. The Final Rule will go into effect on March 22, 2021. The Final Rule largely builds upon the Interim Final Rule which was in effect for the 2020 hemp growing season. It also takes into account feedback from three public comment periods. Below are six key takeaways from the Final Rule:…
Continue Reading USDA Hemp Production Final Rule
QR Codes for Retailers, Distributors, and Delivery
On February 13, 2020, The Bureau of Cannabis Control’s (BCC) emergency rulemaking for Quick Response Code (QR Code) certificate requirements was approved by…
Continue Reading California Update: New QR Code Certificate Requirements, Uptick in Enforcement Actions, and the Future of California’s Cannabis Regulators
On October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its long-awaited interim final rule governing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. USDA has been developing these interim regulations since hemp was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. These hotly anticipated rules are important not only for hemp producers and hemp-derived product companies, but for cannabis companies interested in diversifying or pivoting into a crop that is legal under federal law.
Continue Reading BREAKING NEWS: USDA Releases Interim Final Hemp Rule
On October 12, 2019, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 153, a bill aimed at supplementing existing laws governing industrial hemp and conforming California’s hemp law to the requirements for a state plan under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill).
Continue Reading California Revises Its Hemp Cultivation Laws
As we have long expected, the plaintiff’s bar has focused its attention on the growing CBD product sector. A series of recently filed lawsuits signal that it is more important than ever for participants in the CBD market to know where their product is coming from and to document their testing and labeling methodologies.
Continue Reading CBD Unfair Competition and False Advertising Lawsuits Are On The Rise
U.S. House lawmakers on Wednesday approved overwhelmingly by a 321-103 vote the SAFE Banking Act. The SAFE Banking Act would pave the way for financial institutions and insurance companies to serve state-legal cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses without fear of federal reprisal. Ninety-one Republicans voted for the measure, in a showing of strong bipartisan support. This marks the first time a body of Congress has approved pro-cannabis legislation.
Continue Reading U.S. House of Representatives Passes SAFE Banking Act
*This article was originally posted in Law360 on June 4, 2019.
The much-anticipated public hearing last week at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds drew a wide audience of participants, with strong views on how the FDA should (or should not) regulate the controversial plant.
Continue Reading What We Learned From FDA’s Public Hearing On Cannabis*