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The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA), which assumed oversight of Virginia’s medical cannabis program from the Board of Pharmacy as of January 1, has promulgated regulations to govern medical cannabis operations in the Commonwealth. The regulations are largely similar to those that existed under the Board of Pharmacy, but they bring the Commonwealth one step closer to opening applications for the state’s single unlicensed health service area (HSA).

Continue Reading Virginia Advances Toward New Medical Cannabis License Application With New Regulations

Recently enacted Pennsylvania Senate Bill 773 (SB773) introduces several amendments intended to expand opportunities and increase competition among existing cannabis licensees in Pennsylvania. The bill seeks to support independent licensees in the state and is a response to the consolidation among licensees that many states have seen as state-legal marijuana operators struggle under the weight of federal prohibition and competition from the unregulated marketplace.Continue Reading Pennsylvania Seeks to Increase Competition Among Medical Cannabis Licensees With SB773 Passage

On October 30, Virginia’s hemp industry suffered an early defeat in its effort to overturn Virginia SB 903, a law that imposed stricter limitations on hemp products than what is currently required under federal law.

Continue Reading Federal Judge Says Virginia Did Not Overstep Its Authority in Regulating Intoxicating Hemp Products

On October 12, hemp producers and retailers notched an early win in litigation challenging the legality of Maryland’s cannabis licensing program as it applies to hemp. By way of background, the Maryland General Assembly recently passed the Cannabis Reform Act (CRA), after voters gave their stamp of approval to recreational cannabis in the state via a 2022 referendum. Rather than create a separate licensing system for hemp products, the CRA requires anyone selling a “product intended for human consumption or inhalation that contains more than 0.5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol per serving or 2.5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol per package” to be licensed as a cannabis business. “Tetrahydrocannabinol” (THC) is defined to include delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC. This lack of distinction between hemp- and marijuana-derived products results in the inclusion of existing producers and retailers of hemp-derived THC products into the new cannabis program.

Continue Reading Maryland Cannot Require Hemp Producers to Obtain State Cannabis License, for Now

As a result of a legal challenge by the Oregon Cannabis Industry Alliance and cannabis cultivators in Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) aspergillus fungus testing rule for marijuana, marijuana products, and industrial hemp concentrates and extracts has been withdrawn, and 2,500 pounds of marijuana plus 65,000 units of infused pre-rolls that failed aspergillus testing were released from administrative hold.

Continue Reading Oregon Aspergillus Testing No Longer Required, but Requirements Vary Across States

On October 2, the Virginia Board of Pharmacy posted a general notice indicating that it had voted to rescind the request for applications (RFA) for a Pharmaceutical Processor license in Health Service Area I. The RFA will now be conducted by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (the CCA) sometime after it assumes oversight of the state’s medical cannabis program on January 1, 2024.

Continue Reading Application for Last Available Medical Cannabis License in Virginia to Be Supervised by Virginia Cannabis Control Authority

The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to mark up a new version of the SAFE Banking Act, now known as the “Secure And Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act” or the SAFER Banking Act (SB 2860). The revised bill addresses concerns around potential bad actors, but also establishes guardrails in the case that federal regulators may want to put pressure on banks to not service certain customers, such as “marijuana-related businesses” or other high-risk industries.

Continue Reading Senate Banking Committee to Advance SAFER Banking Act

Across the United States hemp products seem to be everywhere. From corner stores to spas, one can find a hemp- or CBD-infused version of almost anything. Hemp and its derivatives are found in foods, cosmetics, hand-rolled cigarettes and vape pens. A new category of “intoxicating hemp products,” such as delta-8 THC products, have taken the hemp industry by storm. Although the market is vast, the regulatory landscape contains many pitfalls. Potential market entrants must carefully research the applicable laws, and take into account any federal-level risks, before deciding to invest in a hemp or hemp-derived products venture. This article reviews the legal status of hemp-derived products, including smokable hemp products, at the state and federal levels.Continue Reading Troutman Pepper Provides Hemp Derivatives Insight

Published in Law360 on August 15, 2023. © Copyright 2023, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. Reprinted here with permission.

Much attention has recently been placed on hemp-derived products marketed in packaging that mimics popular snack foods.[1]

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and various state regulators, this type of packaging has contributed to an increase in accidental consumption of intoxicating hemp products by minors.Continue Reading Cannabis Plain Packaging Rules: Examples and Opportunities

Published in Law360 on July 19, 2023. © Copyright 2023, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. Reprinted here with permission.

While many individuals are excited about the proliferation of state laws providing for medical and recreational use of marijuana across the country, inconsistencies in these state laws have made it difficult for employers to put in place consistent policies and practices on testing for marijuana as a condition of employment, upon reasonable suspicion, and post-accident. Employers are being forced to revisit their drug-testing policies not just because of changes to their state’s laws regarding medical and recreational use of marijuana, but also because it is becoming increasingly difficult to find employees who have not used, or do not use, marijuana. If employers want to continue testing for marijuana in states where use is legal, policies must be drafted carefully to account for the continued evolution of the law in this area.Continue Reading Employer Drug-Testing Policies Must Evolve With State Law