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Hemp-Derived Products: The Law Does Not Stop at Labeling Requirements

I work with many manufacturers and distributors of hemp-derived products and am often surprised by the fact that few understand their general obligations beyond labeling requirements. Every state that authorizes and formally regulates the manufacture, distribution, and sale of these products – Colorado is a good example – imposes stringent manufacturing requirements that squarely align

Cannabis Litigation: Attempt to Plead Around the “Illegality” Defense Fails

Cannabis Litigation: Attempt to Plead Around the “Illegality” Defense Fails

As the country moves toward decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana, federal courts largely remain closed to commercial disputes involving marijuana by operation of the illegality defense.  We’ve written about the defense on several occasions, see here and here. Briefly, the illegality defense is an affirmative defense pleaded by a defendant who has been sued for

Cannabis Patent Holder UCANN Files for Bankruptcy. Will it Work?

Colorado-based United Cannabis Corporation (“UCANN”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 22. Regular readers may recall that UCANN is the plaintiff in the first ever cannabis patent protection case which generally concerned liquid cannabinol formulations of a purified CBD and/or THC greater than 95%. That litigation is now stayed (paused) as a result

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The Four Basic Labeling Requirements for CBD Products

Last week, I attended Portland’s Hemp CBD Connex, an annual event that highlights the vast potential of hemp and CBD. Of interest to me–because my practice focuses on the regulatory framework of CBD products–was a panel entitled “Weeding Through the CBD Jungle: How to Grow, Run and Be Successful.” This panel was led by two

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Young Living vs. doTERRA: Utah MLM Companies and the CBD Race

Utah is a unique state for a variety of reasons, but recently it gained additional notoriety because the “world leader in essential oils” (based on global revenue), Young Living Essential Oils, announced it acquired Colorado-based Nature’s Ultra. Nature’s Ultra owns more than 1,500 acres of hemp farms in Colorado and produces “natural, organic, vegan approved,

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Hemp-CBD Across State Lines: Colorado

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp by removing the crop and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and by providing a detailed framework for the cultivation of hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill gives the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulatory authority over hemp

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Denver Decriminalizes Psilocybin

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, Denver, Colorado announced a pass result for Initiated Ordinance 301, becoming the first U.S. jurisdiction to decriminalize psilocybin-containing mushrooms. The ballot title reads as follows: Shall the voters of the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance to the Denver Revised Municipal Code that would make the personal use

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Cannabis RICO Lawsuits Are Failing: Oregon and Colorado Updates

We’ve been writing about RICO lawsuits on this blog for a while. These lawsuits are typically brought by neighbors of state-licensed cannabis farms, who allege they are bothered by noise and smells associated with cannabis production, and that their property values have been damaged by extension. Generally speaking, these plaintiffs tend to have strong prohibitionist

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The “Tiger Hemp Beer” Case: Clear Your Cannabis Trademarks Before Filing

One of my favorite pastimes is perusing the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeals Board’s (TTAB) records for disputes involving cannabis, hemp and CBD because there are often valuable lessons to be learned. One such record is the pending Notice of Opposition filed by Heineken Asia Pacific against Hemp Beer