The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently upheld, in a unanimous decision, the town of Brookline’s ordinance banning the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products to anyone born after Jan. 1, 2000 (the Tobacco Sales Ban). Brookline is the first U.S. locality to impose a tobacco sales ban based on a specific date.Continue Reading Massachusetts High Court Upholds Local Tobacco Sales Ban

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) most recent regulatory agenda, it plans to finalize a proposed rule that would make significant changes to requirements applicable to educational institutions that enroll students utilizing VA benefits, such as under the extremely popular Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill and Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) programs, both of which pay tuition and fees directly to schools. The new regulations, which are expected to become final in April and go into effect shortly thereafter, will implement the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018. As the Congressional Research Service explained, that bill made “a number of changes to educational benefits.”Continue Reading VA to Revise Educational Institution Requirements Under the 2018 Veterans Benefits and Transition Act

As we previously reported, the Treasury Department released a 2022 report on Competition in the Markets for Beer, Wine, and Spirits (the Competition Report) recommending, in part, that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) revive or initiate rulemaking to consider labeling requirements that include alcohol and nutritional information per-serving, major food allergens, and/or ingredients. TTB has announced that it will hold two virtual listening sessions on this topic on February 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., EST; and February 29, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., EST. The deadline to register to virtually attend either session is February 27, 12 p.m., EST,. Interested parties may register for either session here. These listening sessions present a unique opportunity to provide input to TTB at the early stages of a rulemaking that could potentially affect labels across the industry.Continue Reading TTB Seeking Public Input on Potential Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Changes

We recently discussed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products’ (CTP) strategic plan intended to guide CTP’s activity for the next five years. On the same day, CTP released its annual regulation and policy guidance agenda, which “outlines rules and guidance documents that are in development or planned for development.” Below, we discuss CTP’s current priorities for new regulations. CTP’s policy agenda is important because it identifies the areas CTP views as most in need of regulation or guidance, and the key actions it plans to take in those areas.Continue Reading FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Releases Annual Regulatory Agenda

Recently, NJOY LLC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against more than 30 foreign and domestic defendants that manufacture, market, distribute, and sell tobacco products in an (indirect) effort to force them to comply with federal and state laws. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company (collectively, RJR) also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against more than 25 foreign and domestic manufacturers, distributors, and retailers (collectively, the respondents) that seeks to prevent the import and resale of certain tobacco products. These lawsuits serve as two examples of how industry is trying to take independent legal action to target allegedly noncompliant actors and force them to comply with applicable law.

Continue Reading ENDS Companies Take Legal Action Against Allegedly Noncompliant Competitors

As we previously reported, most states authorize direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipments of wine if the shipper has obtained the correct license, but this area of law has continued to evolve through litigation. Recently, the Virginia Court of Appeals decided a case involving whether an out-of-state online wine retailer (the retailer) was required to maintain multiple licenses for multiple out-of-state locations. This case should be of interest to any multistate wineries, breweries, or retailers selling and shipping wine or beer to consumers.

Continue Reading “Places of Business” Matter in the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Act

The Oregon Legislature’s 2023 regular session kicked off with a bang for the tobacco industry when House Bill 2128 (HB2128) was introduced at the request of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum who also happens to the be president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General. If passed, HB2128 would replace Oregon’s escrow deposit system, applicable to tobacco product manufacturers that are nonparticipating manufacturers (NPMs) under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), with an equity assessment. While HB2128 was only recently introduced and has a number of hurdles to overcome before it becomes law, we are not aware of any other state that has made a similar proposal to retroactively change escrow deposit systems for NPMs. Thus, HB2128 is worth monitoring, not only for its potential impact to Oregon NPMs, but also to see whether similar legislation will be introduced in other states.Continue Reading Oregon Bill Proposes to Replace Escrow Deposit System With “Equity Assessment” for Certain Tobacco Product Manufacturers

As discussed here, on October 19, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Community Financial Services Association of America Ltd. (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held that the CFPB’s funding mechanism violates the appropriations clause because the CFPB does not receive its funding from annual congressional appropriations like most executive agencies, but

In October 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ), on its behalf, filed complaints against six electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) companies in federal district courts, seeking permanent injunctions. These cases are important because they mark the first time the FDA has litigated against companies to enforce

The Senate recently passed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (the Act) by a voice vote after the House of Representatives passed the bill with strong bipartisan support (325-95) last July. The Act is the first stand-alone marijuana legislation passed in decades and, according to some news sources, President Biden will likely