In a brief filed with the Federal Circuit, Canopy Growth said U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright erred when he ruled the cannabis giant couldn’t prevail on its allegations that GW Pharmaceuticals cribbed a chemical extraction process to make flagship CBD drug Epidiolex. The Canada-based multistate operator contends Albright erred by limiting the claim language with the added requirement that both the pressure and temperature levels of liquefied CO2 during the extraction process must be below their respective critical points. By merely repeating the disputed phrase and supplementing it with additional language to narrow its meaning, Albright departed from the Federal Circuit’s claim construction guidance, Canopy argues. It wants the appeals court to properly construe the term to encompass all pressure and temperature combinations.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney dismissed with prejudice a contract dispute between SunFlora and The Natural Solutions (TNS) over store openings after the Golden State retailer made a confidential payment to the Fla.-based maker of organic hemp-derived products. The suit was brought by SunFlora, which had inked an exclusive territory agreement with TNS and its owner in 2019, granting them a six-county territory to open SunFlora “affiliate stores” and to recommend other business parties to apply to open stores. SunFlora claimed TNS was required to open a minimum of 12 retail stores in 2019, but was only operating two as of the end of that year. The breach of contract suit sought a court declaration that the deal was null and void and wouldn’t be renewed.
Clint Eastwood won $2 million in a lawsuit accusing Norok Innovation of perpetuating an online scam that used his name and likeness without his knowledge or permission to drive traffic to a website selling its CBD products. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney found Eastwood proved his trademark infringement claims, but didn’t award the full $3 million sought by the actor. The verdict is the second in favor of Eastwood in a pair of suits alleging CBD manufacturers and marketers fabricated news articles and manipulated search results to make it appear as though he endorsed their products.
Hemp extractors worried about a federal crackdown over THC levels have dim prospects for getting help from the judicial system after the D.C. Circuit ruled that hemp materials become illegal marijuana the moment they go hot. The federal appeals court rejected arguments from the Hemp Industries Association and RE Botanicals that the DEA’s 2020 rule about hemp extracts that exceed the federal THC limit violated the intent of the 2018 Farm Bill, which exempted hemp and its derivatives from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. While the plaintiffs have limited legal options after the defeat, the failed lawsuit could prove valuable because of the legal record it leaves behind. In its defense, the DEA said it had no intention of overseeing the hemp industry beyond what Congress allowed in 2018. As a result, one cannabis attorney is advising hemp extractors to proceed with the status quo.
Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law the North Carolina Farm Act, allowing hemp farming to continue legally in the state following the expiration of a five-year pilot program. The legislation permanently exempts hemp and hemp-derived products from N.C.’s controlled substances act, aligning the state policy with the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the federal controlled substances act.
The Vt. Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) will withdraw its Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA-approved Hemp Production Plan as of Dec. 31, 2022. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, individuals who want to cultivate hemp and operate in compliance with federal law will be required to have a license issued under the U. S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. The state agency will work with USDA as the transition takes place and will communicate with growers to ensure they’re aware of the transition and steps necessary to continue to cultivate hemp in Vt. in compliance with federal law. Additionally, the passage of state Act 158 transferred the regulatory oversight of testing of hemp products and hemp-infused products from the VAAFM to the Cannabis Control Board.
Since N.Y. provides hemp farmers with tools to grow, U.S. Hemp Roundtable GC Jonathan Miller expects the state to have a booming market and lots of investment once regulatory issues are resolved. He believes the industry will only take small steps in the state until it’s regulated by the federal FDA. He cited the packaging and labeling of hemp and CBD products as one area that requires the agency’s attention.
Texas A&M University will use the funding, which is being made available through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) program, to support a project to 3D print hemp-based building materials known as hempcrete, with a focus on building affordable housing. The advancement of the project is expected to contribute to the U.S. maintaining its worldwide leadership in advanced construction methods and infrastructure sustainability and resilient technologies. This is just one of the latest examples of the federal government embracing hemp’s potential.
Fla. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s lawsuit challenging federal law that prohibits medical marijuana users from buying guns or having concealed-carry permits was delayed after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a N.Y. gun law that restricted concealed carry rights in the state. Fried is seeking a legal remedy advocating for gun-buying rights of Fla. residents who have prescriptions for medical marijuana. The suit argues the federal law infringes on Floridians’ Second Amendment rights. The federal government intends to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but needs time to review the Supreme Court ruling. U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor approved the request for an extension, which wasn’t opposed by Fried and her fellow plaintiffs, giving the government until July 25 to respond to the lawsuit.
In a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Nebraska on behalf of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM), the Eighth Circuit issued a stay on a federal judge’s preliminary injunction, allowing enforcement of a ballot qualification requirement the groups are challenging. The rule requires people seeking to change the law or amend the state constitution to collect signatures from 5% of registered voters in 38 counties to qualify for a statewide ballot. The ACLU of Nebraska and NMM say the requirement violates the one person, one vote principle by giving unequal power to signatures based on geography. The decision means the multicounty distribution requirement will remain in place, pending a final decision on the litigation.