Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:
Brent David Willis, who was the CEO of NewAge until Jan., is the target of an SEC suit in Colo. federal court for misleading investors via filings and press releases describing CBD beverage distribution deals with large domestic and international distributors and retailers. However, NewAge was losing money as far back as 2017 and Willis began fabricating deals to make the company appear stronger, the SEC alleges.
Gaia Herbs of N.C., claimed in its Sept. suit that Gaea Hempworks of Texas, didn’t stop infringing certain marks despite a cease-and-desist letter. But in a motion to dismiss, Gaea says Gaia violates the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by adding cannabinoid oils to its dietary supplements.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture says the production and sale of hemp or hemp-derived products, including CBD, aren’t recognized by the FDA or the Association of American Feed Control Officials as legal feed ingredients. The ban, effective Nov. 1, includes treats, remedies and supplements for pets.
The Pa. Agricultural Hemp Promotion, Education and Export Promotion Matching Grant Program will be providing up to $200,000 in matched funding for marketing projects to promote the state’s hemp market. The state Department of Agriculture said non-profit organizations that take on marketing initiatives to increase hemp sales, exports or consumer awareness of the sector are also eligible for the reimbursement funds. The purpose of the program is to:
- Increase consumer awareness and sales of agricultural hemp products;
- Educate producers and consumers with respect to agricultural hemp products; and
- Facilitate the growth and development of export markets for agricultural hemp products.
Industrial hemp struggles with the problem of lack of data and interest, says Eric Singular with the Journal of New Frontier Data. More data is required to increase interest, he notes, but more interest is needed to collect data.
A court denied a lobbyist’s attempt to strike an extortion claim brought against him by cannabis company From the Earth, which accused him of colluding with City of Commerce officials to deny ity a license. The appellate panel disagreed with some of the trial court’s analysis regarding whether the activity of lobbyist Mario Beltran was protected, but it found From the Earth still alleged sufficient facts that could result in a legal victory.
MedMen Enterprises claims it doesn’t owe more than $1 million in back rent to real estate company Thor Equities, arguing since it’s an illicit drug, the landlord can’t enforce the lease. Thor claims that MedMen owes at least $950,960.02, not including interest and attorney fees. However, Thor asserts the lease includes a clause that specifically prohibits MedMen from making such an argument.
A Calif. appeals panel found Nadiya Aziz failed to follow the court’s rules, stating she didn’t present a fair description of evidence the City of Maywood and the trial court relied on in making their findings. Aside from the evidentiary issue, the court said Aziz cited cases that don’t provide relevant factual circumstances.
In Hudson County Superior Court, Local Modiv argued the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) went beyond its authority when it considered its denial of the company’s application for a show of local support so it could pursue a state license. Local Modiv said the board’s only duty was to conclude the city authorized the type of cannabis business that it sought to open and to determine whether the issuance of a license would exceed local limits for the number of cannabis businesses. Instead, the board considered factors meant for a final review after the state issues an annual license, concluded the company. The city argued the CCB decision was within its discretion.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell dismissed a Martin G. Weinberg attorney’s claim that any government review of client communications would violate attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors will use a so-called filter team as one of several steps in a process meant to safeguard Sean O’Donovan‘s client’s rights to privacy. O’Donovan is accused of offering up to $50,000 to the police chief’s relative to expedite the process for his client to open a cannabis dispensary.