Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:

CBD

U.S. lawmakers propose updating CBD regulations

Under the Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), consumable products containing hemp-derived CBD would be regulated the same as other food ingredients and dietary supplements. While hemp was legalized as an agricultural commodity in 2018, the FDA has yet to issue rules on the use of CBD in foods and drinks, leaving them in a regulatory gray area. The proposed legislation would direct the FDA to exempt CBD from certain restrictions that prohibit any new dietary ingredient from entering the marketplace if it was previously studied or approved as a drug.

Fla. CBD company looks to avoid sanctions in trade secrets suit

Healthcare Resources Management Group urged a Fla. federal court to deny sanctions proposed by two of its former business partners in a trade secrets suit, saying the motions for sanctions are improper because it “clearly” provided the secret CBD cream formula at issue. The sanction motions contend Healthcare Resources didn’t disclose any proprietary formula to Rejuvenol Laboratories and Medterra Healthcare Resources. In the event that the sanctions motions aren’t outright denied, Healthcare Resources has asked for additional discovery about the defendants’ assertions, specifically related to the ingredients and formulation of the CBD pain cream products.

 

Hemp

Ore. federal judge dismisses hemp company’s suit against county for destruction of $2.5M in hemp

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane fully adopted an earlier recommendation report from U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke, who recommended partially granting Josephine County’s motion to dismiss claims brought by Justin Pitts and Oregonized Hemp, but allowing leave to file a second amended complaint. Judge Clarke said in a Feb. report that Pitt and his company failed to state a claim for relief against any of the 10 Josephine County John Does, who are likely entitled to qualified immunity anyway. “There may be some state law claims that plaintiffs can pursue to remedy the loss of their industrial hemp.” However, due to the warrants obtained, “the constitutional claims are shaky at best.” The counsel for Pitts and Oregonized said he was surprised by the judge’s decision, noting “that’s why they have appellate courts,” adding the company will probably be amending the complaint again.

Hemp businesses to withdraw challenge to Ind.’s smokable hemp laws

A group of hemp and CBD sellers in Ind. notified U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker of plans to drop a legal challenge to a pair of state laws restricting the sale and distribution of smokable hemp. The voluntarily withdrawal of the case closes the door, at least for now, on a legal battle that began nearly two years ago, when a coalition of hemp vendors sought a ruling that a state law criminalizing the transport and sale of hemp bud or hemp flower conflicted with federal laws that legalized the crop. Since the dismissal is without prejudice, the businesses could refile if the regulatory or enforcement environment changes.

Academic research needed to address hemp’s total THC problem, Trilogene Seeds CEO says

Trilogene Seeds CEO Matt Haddad said hemp seed breeders need to collaborate with academic-run, varietal trials to solve hemp’s total THC problem and move the industry forward. Harvesting a profitable CBD hemp crop without going over the 0.3% THC limit has been challenging for many growers. Haddad noted 95% of all hemp grown last year went “hot,” meaning it had be destroyed. He said quantitative, academic-level research helps hemp seed breeders identify traits, assists growers in finding best-performing varietals for their region and could help persuade U.S. regulators to increase the 0.3% THC minimum, which many in the hemp industry believe is unrealistic.

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