Industry News

Two lawsuits put federal hemp definition in spotlight • AG Bonta sues 9 companies over hemp violations • RECAP: NJ cannabis regulatory meeting  • & more …

Two lawsuits put federal hemp definition in spotlight • AG Bonta sues 9 companies over hemp violations • RECAP: NJ cannabis regulatory meeting  • & more …

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Two lawsuits put federal hemp definition in the spotlight. 

In both cases, the hemp entities are making the case that hemp products comply with the 2018 Farm Bill so long as they don’t exceed 0.3% delta-9 THC. Anything that tries to stray from that is undermining federal law, they argue. 

In Arkansas, a new ruling could have major implications for other states. In short, a federal judge agreed with several hemp companies that sought to block the implementation of Senate Bill 358, now known as Act 629, which banned hemp products containing cannabinoids produced through synthetic chemical processes, such as delta-8 and delta-10 THC. These companies argue that the bill conflicts with the federal 2018 Farm Bill.

Now, a group in Virginia is challenging the state’s limits on hemp products. A new law went into effect on July 1 that sets the legal limit for hemp products at 0.3% total THC and 2 mg per package, which the plaintiffs argue is at odds with the federal definition of hemp.

The timing of these lawsuits is important with the 2023 Farm Bill discussions already underway. Pressure is building for the bill to clarify the definition of hemp that was included in the last Farm Bill, which has led to a patchwork of regulatory approaches from state to state when it comes to hemp products and their cannabinoid contents. 

California AG sues 9 companies over hemp violations. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit on Friday against companies “selling illegal inhalable hemp products in violation of Assembly Bill 45, failing to include warnings required by Proposition 65 for all commercial industrial hemp products, and engaging in unfair business practices.”

Prop 65 bars companies from exposing residents to carcinogens. Some of these products included beta-Myrcene, a carcinogen. 

“I want to be clear: The sales of industrial hemp products that do not comply with California law, and the illegal sale of inhalable hemp in California will not be tolerated,” Bonta said in a statement. “The dangers of these products must be communicated for sale to the public, and the sale of all industrial hemp inhalable products must cease altogether. The California Department of Justice will continue to protect the legitimate businesses who are operating responsibly in this space. There is no room for illegal inhalable hemp products in our state.” 

The companies: 

G.E.T. Agriculture LTD
The Hempacco Company, Inc.
Cheef Holdings (Cheef Botanicals)
IHF Online LLC (Industrial Hemp Farms)
Eagle Moon Hemp, LLC (Eagle Moon Hemp)
Eagle Moon Farm, LLC (Eagle Moon Farm)
EMH Wholesale, LLC (EMH)
Berkshire CBD dba Cannaflower (Cannaflower)
Berkshire Farm Collective (Berkshire) 

New Jersey meeting recap: Expanded edibles, hefty fines. 

The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) met on Friday with a hefty agenda, but two outcomes stood out:

First, the CRC proposed expanded rules for edibles. Things like baked goods and THC-infused beverages would be allowed in the state’s medical and adult use markets. Initial rules only allowed products like lozenges and gummies. 

While the rules could take six months to be finalized, regulators moved to waive some red tape that will let new products hit the state’s market much sooner.  

Second, two MSOs were hit with major fines. Terrascend, regulators said, sent patients to the adult use menu of products. Regulators said that the company had five such complaints, and Commission Chair Dianna Houenou proposed a $100,000 fine (rules allow her to do so). 

The steeper fine would “reflect the serious nature” of not prioritizing patients, she said. Vice Chair Sam Delgado pushed back, calling the proposed amount “extremely shocking,” but it passed 3-1. 

The CRC voted 3-1 to fine Columbia Care $50,000 for a nearly two-week delay in filing its labor peace agreement. 

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