The Week in Weed: July 2020 #5

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

[author: Susan Ryan]

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

The FDA started the process of issuing guidance on CBD products. Democrats said no to legalized marijuana in their party platform. There’s a way to test products for cannabis levels. Missouri is having problems with its medical marijuana program. Support for state-legal cannabis programs made its way into House appropriation bills. And finally, do not say Clint Eastwood uses your CBD product, because he doesn’t.


The Food and Drug Administration sent enforcement guidance for CBD products to the Office of Management and Budget for review late last week. What does the guidance contain? No one knows. When will the guidance be made public? No one knows. As soon as we know, we’ll let you know.


Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his supporters may have pushed former Vice President Biden to the left on some issues, but legalizing marijuana is not one of them. Platform committee members rejected a proposal to legalize cannabis by a vote of 105 to 60.


Mislabeling in the CBD industry is a major problem. Scientists at The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are trying to fix that. NIST’s Cannabis Quality Assurance (CannaQAP) program will send samples of hemp oil products to participating labs. The labs will measure the concentration of CBD, THC and other compounds and report back to CannaQAP. The goal is to help those labs produce consistent results and recommend best practices to the industry so that labeling will be accurate.


Missouri’s medical marijuana program has been plagued by controversy. Earlier in the year, some companies submitted duplicate license applications, and received multiple licenses, amid accusations of conflicts of interest. Late last week, the state merged the duplicate licenses and issued five additional licenses. Will this be enough to prevent lawsuits? Only time will tell.


Since 2014, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment barred the Justice Department from enforcing federal law on state-legal medical marijuana businesses. A broader version of this provision, that would bar enforcement against state-legal adult-use marijuana businesses, was added to this year’s Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill. Its chances of passage in the House seems pretty good, but if history is any guide, it won’t make it through the Senate.


Clint Eastwood filed suit against several CBD companies recently. The actor claims they are using his name and likeness to sell their products. No word yet on whether the companies feel lucky.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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