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.
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.
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fungus testing rule for marijuana, marijuana products, and industrial hemp concentrates and extracts has been withdrawn, and 2,500 pounds of marijuana plus 65,000 units of infused pre-rolls that failed aspergillus testing were released from administrative hold.
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.
Since its first recreational marijuana dispensary opened in 2014, Colorado has been at the forefront of the burgeoning adult-use cannabis industry, setting a precedent for other states considering the legalization of recreational marijuana, and reaping significant tax benefits for the state in the process.
The Georgia Board of Pharmacy has begun accepting applications from independent, licensed pharmacies for authorization to dispense authorized medical marijuana products, and nearly 120 pharmacies reportedly have agreed to provide medication from Botanical Sciences, one of the state’s two licensed production companies, according to a company statement.
Published in Infrastructure, Volume 62, Number 4, Summer 2023. © 2023 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
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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.
On September 12, the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved final regulations governing the adult-use cannabis industry in New York, marking a long-awaited moment for industry participants and state regulators alike. The CCB’s approval signifies a significant step forward for the state’s cannabis market. The regulations are designed to govern all aspects of the industry, from cultivation and processing to distribution, retail, on-site consumption, and delivery services. Among these regulations, one rule stands out for its complexity and potential impact on industry participants: the definition of a “true party of interest.”Continue Reading The Evolving Cannabis Industry in New York: Final Regulations and the True Party of Interest Rule
On August 9, a lawsuit was filed in Connecticut that aims to stop all legal cannabis activity in the state and declare the state’s 2021 legalization framework as unconstitutional. The complaint, filed by a local homeowners advocacy group against the Zoning Board of the City of Stamford and the Stamford Mayor, alleges that Connecticut’s legalization framework, the Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act (RERACA), violates both the state and federal constitutions by legalizing federally prohibited conduct, and is therefore preempted under both. In addition, the complaint alleges that the state’s social equity council violates the Connecticut constitution by providing exclusive public emoluments or privileges to certain groups based on race, and that the approval by certain board members of changes in zoning regulations was invalid due to several board members terms having previously expired.Continue Reading Legal Cannabis on Trial: Federal Preemption and Connecticut’s Cannabis Challenge