Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:
While the FDA has approved cannabis-derived prescription drug, Epidiolex, for three rare seizure disorders, not much has changed for people with other forms of epilepsy. Joseph Sirven, a Fla.-based neurologist who specializes in epilepsy, said all his patients now ask about it. Despite the buzz, he and other physicians said they’re reluctant to advise patients on over-the-counter CBD because they don’t know what’s in the bottles. A study in Epilepsy & Behavior on 11 oils found three contained less CBD than claimed, and four held more, with one containing 28% more CBD than advertised. Meanwhile, problems persist with Epidiolex, as users struggle with their insurance companies given the list price of $32,500 per year. The Washington Post
U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton again refused to hear claims brought by men who said they tested positive for THC after consuming a hemp tea that promised 0.0% of the psychoactive ingredient. Ricardo Santiago and Vaughn Frederick attempted to revive three claims in their second amended complaint against Total Life Changes, which sold the tea. As with the previous filing, the judge said the pleadings were too vague to support the consumers’ claims. Furthermore, she rejected claims made under the state’s deceptive trade practices law, saying they lacked specificity. Law 360 (sub. req.)
The bill allows any products over 0.5 mg of THC per dose to be deemed “adult use consumable hemp” and sets the age limit to 21 for purchase, was introduced by Rep. Clay Schexnayder (R-Sorrento). Consumers don’t need a prescription to buy hemp products. The News Star
A Kan. CBD seller who lost $120,000 during a police raid doesn’t have the right to sue the state’s AG or governor in federal court over the seizure, said state AG Derek Schmidt. He added the state’s criminal statute needs to be determined at the state level first. If Murray Dines, owner of Terpene Distribution, believes it’s legal under state law to sell products containing Delta-8 THC in Kan., he should be required to make this argument in front of a criminal court, notes Schmidt’s motion to dismiss. Dines claims the confiscated hemp was legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Law 360 (sub. req.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix ruled AAHC Management and Consulting erred when it assumed it could simply say USA Hemp Farms’ principal place of business is Chicago when it filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for 438,909 hemp seeds. The hemp seed producer needed to pinpoint the citizenship of USA Hemp Farms’ owners. Without this, the court lacks the ability to determine if there’s diversity of jurisdiction in the case, Judge Mix said. Furthermore, the court ruled AAHC failed to establish its own members’ citizenship since it’s also an LLC. Law 360 (sub. req.)
CCSAC and Cann Distributors alleged in a summary judgment motion that Pacific Banking, its CEO Justin Costello and GRN Funds hold at least $1.86 million of the plaintiffs’ funds. The plaintiffs said the defendants haven’t provided any requested documents supporting their denial of a breach of contract claim. Rather than fulfilling their obligations, the defendants instead asserted meritless affirmative defenses and a baseless counterclaim, CCSAC and Cann said. The plaintiffs also alleged that Pacific Banking lied about making a $1-million tax payment to Calif. regulators and never processed another $1.2-million tax payment. Law 360 (sub. req.)
A proposed class action brings RICO claims against Steep Hill, Bold Team and NSMC-OPCO. The plaintiffs allege that after noticing the potency of their marijuana varied, they had samples tested. Those tests revealed the defendants routinely sold marijuana with labels that overstated the amount of THC by an average of 25%, with one sample having the amount inflated by 52%. Law 360 (sub. req.)
U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle dismissed with prejudice all the claims in James K. Shelton, Ben Shelton III and Sami Saad’s suit against the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board and the City of Seattle, noting many of the claims in the pro se complaint are either implausible, or unclear. Furthermore, the state’s statute of limitations on the bulk of the claims is three years, said the judge. In the suit, Saad and the Sheltons alleged they were pushed out of the market because they’re Black. They had operated medical cannabis dispensaries until 2016, when the state consolidated its regulation of medical and recreational cannabis and required both types of shops to apply for a limited number of licenses. Law 360 (sub. req.)
While a medical marijuana patient’s claim of disability discrimination is headed to trial on his state law claim, U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil found it’s beyond dispute that NYC’s Human Rights Law doesn’t recognize marijuana use as a protected disability. The dismissal pares down Christopher Scholl’s lawsuit against food services company Compass Group USA. Scholl declined offers to settle, expressing to the court that he’s interested in making sure other medical marijuana patients are allowed to obtain gainful employment. Law 360 (sub. req.)
Houweling Intellectual Properties is seeking to enforce its patent rights against Copperstate Farms’ alleged infringement of intellectual property (U.S. Patent No. 8,707,617) covering a greenhouse with a perimeter climate control system that functions by pulling outside air into the system and recirculating it. The greenhouse maker called Copperstate Farms’ infringement “willful and deliberate,” noting the cannabis maker continues to use the greenhouses, despite previous warnings to desist. Houweling is seeking treble damages and a post-judgment accounting of damages for the infringement period, as well as an order permanently barring Copperstate Farms’ continued infringement of the greenhouse patent. Law 360 (sub. req.)
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