Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:
The Natural Products Association asked the FDA to either redefine CBD as a dietary supplement, take more product-specific enforcement actions or advise the Secretary of HHS to amend regulations making it lawful to put CBD in consumable products. “CBD and hemp products are being subjected to a different standard than other dietary ingredients or supplements,” the petition reads. “In fact, supplements containing CBD are being subjected to the standard applied to drugs.” The petition comes three years after Congress legalized non-psychoactive hemp and CBD derived from hemp, but the FDA has still not issued guidelines as to how the compound can be marketed and sold in products. Law 360 (sub. req.)
NextEvo, a firm founded by former staff and scientists from Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Schiff Nutrition, revealed a delivery platform that boosts the bioavailability of hemp cannabidiol. Its SmartSorb technology turns oil-based CBD ingredients into water-soluble ingredients and also enables a higher load of active CBD ingredient. According to the company, “SmartSorb turns premium, hemp-derived CBD, which is usually oil soluble, into a water soluble-like (water-dispersible) emulsion and delivers the equivalent of four times the amount of CBD in oil-based formulations.” Nutritional Outlook.
To ease liability concerns from industry investors, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable called on federal and state regulators to force retailers and manufacturers against referring to hemp-derived psychoactive products as federally legal, adding these wares and claims damage the reform efforts meant to help the industry. The trade group argues this activity clearly belies the intent of the 2018 federal Farm Bill that legalized the crop. Another hemp industry trade group, the Hemp Industries Association, published a position paper in July 2021, stating the federal bill legalized all compounds derived from hemp. Law 360 (sub. req.)
The proposed bill would impact the sale and purchase of products containing intoxicating cannabinoids derived from hemp, like Delta-8. “It’s to legalize and regulate hemp derived cannabinoids, to tax them and to make sure that children and people under 21 aren’t consuming those products,” said President and Chief Lobbyist for the Tennessee Growers Coalition, Joe Kirkpatrick. Advocates say the bill would target black market sales and weed out bad actors, as well as bring legitimacy and credibility to the industry. WTVF.
The high court invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the executive branch’s position as the justices mull whether to review an appeal of a state court decision. The DOJ’s opinion could resolve whether federal drug policy should outweigh state laws requiring insurers and employers to compensate patients for medical cannabis costs, an issue that has divided the state courts. Law 360 (sub. req.)
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board reiterated that the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution can’t apply to the state’s marijuana policy, in response to an Idaho resident suing the agency over a residency requirement. The plaintiff, Todd Brinkmeyer, urged the court to deny summary judgment bids filed by the other party. At issue is the state’s residency requirement for marijuana business owners, which Brinkmeyer argues is unconstitutional and prevents him from holding equity in a venture that he helped bring into business. Similar residency requirements have been challenged using the dormant commerce clause in other states, including in Maine, where a case is currently before the First Circuit. The appeal is the first of its kind to reach the national circuit courts and could have widespread ramifications for the marijuana sector, which developed as a series of siloed state-by-state markets under federal prohibition. Law 360 (sub. req.)
The Washington CannaBusiness Association and Craft Cannabis Coalition, filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s residency requirement for marijuana business owners. The trade organizations argue federal law has effectively allowed regulated marijuana markets to flourish and therefore constitutional protections and rights should apply to the industry. “This case is not about whether there is a fundamental right to distribute or sell cannabis. Instead, it is about whether the state has an obligation to regulate its cannabis market in accordance with the Constitution,” WACA and CCC said. “Simply because an activity is in some respects illegal under federal law does not mean the Constitution does not apply,” they stressed. Law 360 (sub. req.)
Medical marijuana permit applicants urged a N.J. appellate court to direct the state’s cannabis regulator to award them licenses to operate facilities. The applicants allege the Cannabis Regulatory Commission re-enforced its position on a flawed scoring system, ignoring concerns previously raised by the appellate court about a substantial degree of relative error. Law 360 (sub. req.)