Hemp / CBD

Surefooted counsel in rapidly changing legal terrain

The shortest distance between your cannabis business and success? Us.

Cannabidiol’s (CBD) rise to prominence has been met with equal parts acceptance and dispute. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 Farm Bill) allowed for clinical studies of the CBD. The Agriculture Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) expanded on its predecessor by legalizing hemp, making hemp products such as food, supplements, ointments oils, and smokable devices widely available. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees hemp at the federal level and works closely with states under the 2018 Farm Bill. States can now license hemp cultivation by submitting regulatory plans to the USDA. Currently 40 U.S. states have implemented hemp programs under the 2014 Farm Bill, and no two states have the same hemp regulations.  

The FDA has historically pushed back on CBD, concluding that because CBD is already approved as a prescription drug, it cannot be added to food or dietary supplements in the form of hemp-derived cannabidiol (“Hemp CBD”). The FDA often sends out warning letters to distributors of Hemp CBD products that make medical claims and causing a number of states to  prohibit manufacturing or distributing Hemp CBD products intended for human or pet consumption. This complicates the industry and makes it difficult to create and maintain a CBD business.   

Our Hemp CBD business attorneys understand the interplay between federal law, state law, FDA regulation, and USDA regulations and they are well-versed in the convoluted and sometimes conflicting state and federal laws. Our experience with cannabis dates back to the days of the emerging medical marijuana industry, so we have a wealth of experience in interpreting and even challenging inconsistent federal and state laws.

Our Hemp CBD business attorneys work on a wide range of businesses within the industry, from small start-ups to major corporations looking to expand into this rapidly growing market. We have worked on the following hemp matters:

  • Investigating the source of hemp products to verify that they are not derived from marijuana and do not contain prohibited levels of THC;
  • Analyzing risks associated with transporting hemp interstate and internationally;
  • Obtaining licenses for the cultivation or processing of hemp;
  • Advising clients on best practices for the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of hemp products;
  • Responding to complaints and seizures of Hemp CBD products;
  • Providing updates to clients as regulations and laws change across the country; and
  • Counseling clients on developing policies and regulations from the FDA and USDA.

In addition, for many of our clients in the Hemp CBD space, we regularly prepare state, regional, 50-State, and international Hemp CBD Risk Matrixes that briefly summarize our ongoing research into how the states and various countries regulate Hemp CBD products in the following categories:

  • Hemp CBD Requirements: General laws, regulations, restrictions, policies, or requirements for Hemp CBD;
  • Consumables: Hemp CBD as used in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and other consumable goods for humans;
  • Smokables: How governments treat Hemp CBD in smokable products such as dried flower, vape products, and cigarettes;
  • Cosmetics: How governments treat Hemp CBD in cosmetics;
  • Enforcement Actions: Adverse enforcement action by law enforcement against Hemp CBD in the last 3-6-9-12 months;
  • Select Laws and Regulations: A non-exhaustive selection of relevant authorities on Hemp CBD, including laws, regulations, and policy statements; and
  • Pending Laws/Regulations: Authorities that are not yet in effect but will impact the sale and marketing of Hemp CBD products. Hemp and CBD have been making great strides internationally as well, but oftentimes with the same complications as in the United States.

Our international Hemp CBD lawyers have represented a number of companies that buy and sell and import and export Hemp and CBD around the world. We help these companies with their international transactions and with the import and export issues they face.

With the guidance of our Hemp CBD business attorneys, you can rest easy knowing your business is doing all that it can to comply with these complex and evolving laws, and comfortably push your business full speed ahead.