Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:
U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II dismissed a proposed class action alleging Just Brands and other CBD companies overstate the amount of the popular cannabinoid in their products, but gave the consumer another chance to pursue the matter. He also rejected Just Brands’ motion to stay the action until the FDA releases CBD regulations, saying any such rules likely wouldn’t affect the claims at issue.
Kushly Industries and its sole officer, Cody Alt, agreed to settle FTC allegations they marketed their CBD products using false or unsubstantiated claims that they could effectively treat or cure serious diseases or common ailments. The respondents were also accused of falsely telling consumers that scientific studies or research support their claims. Under the proposed administrative order, the respondents agreed not to make false or unsupported claims or falsely claim that scientific evidence exists to back up such claims. They will also pay the FTC roughly $30,583 in consumer redress.
Following the 2019 crash of the Vermont CBD industry, due to oversupply, many Vermont hemp growers and processors are trying to find their niche in the CBD market, but some are branching out into industrial hemp. And, some are discovering their experiences growing hemp translate well in Vermont’s legal cannabis industry.
A Senate bill seeks to finalize a process to allow derivatives such as CBD to be used in consumable products like foods, drinks and dietary supplements. The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act would exempt “hemp, hemp-derived cannabidiol, or a substance containing any other ingredient derived from hemp” from certain restrictions that have blocked the emergence of legal consumable hemp products while the FDA has slow-walked regulations. The bill also says federal officials may “establish labeling and packaging requirements” for hemp-derived products. The bill is supported by the Consumer Brands Association, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Hemp Roundtable, American Herbal Products Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Vote Hemp and National Industrial Hemp Council.
The Alaska Legislature passed a bill that would establish a permanent industrial hemp program for the state and allow for interstate commerce of Alaska-grown and manufactured hemp products. The measure would replace a state pilot hemp program set up in 2018. The proposed law awaits the signature of Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Twelve growers received hemp licenses in S.D. as the crop returns to the Great Plains state this year, according to the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR). An additional three licenses for hemp processing have been granted to date, the state agency said. The farming licenses awarded so far cover about 300 acres. The DANR said additional licenses are expected to be approved over the next month as farmers see the potential for hemp production.
States are setting up bans and restricting sales in reaction to a growing market for delta-8 THC and other synthetic isomers of CBD, but according to hemp industry advocates, the problem might have been avoided if federal drug regulators hadn’t delayed CBD regulations and enforcement for so long. Stakeholders say the FDA’s inaction to provide guidance and regulations for hemp-derived CBD created a bottleneck in the marketplace, making large consumer packaged goods manufacturers and big-box retailers wary of entering the CBD space. Hemp businesses responded by exploiting mixed messages in federal law to use the glut of hemp and CBD distillate and isolate that resulted from artificial demand, giving rise to synthetic minor cannabinoids such as delta-8 and delta-10 THC. Some are concerned that if delta-8 THC is banned, product manufacturers will pivot to creating other isomers, which regulators will ultimately also prohibit, and the cycle will continue until regulators get frustrated and institute bans on all converted minor cannabinoids such as CBN, a product of degraded THC.