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

On June 8, more than 50 members of Congress signed a letter addressed to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, expressing concerns over FDA’s delays in reviewing pending Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTAs) and its failure to remove unauthorized products from the market. The letter strongly urges “FDA to (1) expeditiously complete review of remaining e-cigarette PMTAs; (2) follow the science on the risks flavored [e-cigarettes] pose to youth and deny PMTAs for all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol flavored products; and (3) increase enforcement actions against companies that make, distribute, and sell flavored products without a marketing order, especially products with a significant market share, or products that are most popular with youth.” The letter also requests that FDA respond to several questions by June 23, as summarized below (as of the date of this blog post, we are not aware of any FDA response).Continue Reading Congress Urges FDA to Complete Its Review of E-Cigarette Applications

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently amended requirements concerning artificial or prerecorded voice calls, effective July 20.[1] See Proposed 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200. Notably, the FCC amended requirements concerning prerecorded noncommercial and nontelemarketing commercial calls by (1) placing a cap on the number of calls to up to three calls within a consecutive 30-day period, unless the caller has obtained prior express consent, and (2) requiring callers to provide specific opt-out mechanisms.Continue Reading New FCC Requirements for Prerecorded Voice Calls Effective July 20: Is Your Company Prepared to Comply?

The Department of Defense (DOD) wants to make it easier for companies with innovative solutions, such as startups, to bid on and receive federal government contracts. As such, DOD recently proposed a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) amendment to implement provisions of the 2022 and 2023 National Defense Authorization Acts, which provide DOD with the authority to acquire “innovative commercial products and commercial services” under general solicitations using a new, more streamlined competitive selection process called a “commercial solution opening” (CSO). The amendment will add a new subpart to DFARs Part 212 at 212.7X. DOD expects the proposed process to reduce transaction costs for both private and public sectors, which it hopes will encourage smaller companies with innovative ideas and proven solutions to take part in the federal government contracting marketplace.Continue Reading New DOD Contracting Process Aims to Attract Innovative Startups

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