Vicente Sederberg Representing Hemp Industry In Federal Lawsuit Against The DEA

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  A national hemp trade association and a South Carolina-based hemp company have filed a federal lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration, challenging a rule the agency implemented last month that could have far-reaching consequences for the U.S. hemp industry.

The petition filed Friday afternoon in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asks the court to review an interim final rule, “Implementation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” which was promulgated by the DEA on August 21. The lawsuit claims the rule is unlawful because it exceeds the DEA’s legal authority and violates the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the farm bill. The petitioners also argue that acting DEA administrator Timothy Shea, who is individually named as a respondent along with the agency, issued the interim final rule without observing procedures required by law.

The DEA’s interim final rule clarifies that all hemp derivatives or extracts exceeding 0.3% THC shall remain Schedule I controlled substances. This could be interpreted to include intermediate hemp derivatives that temporarily exceed 0.3% during processing, but contain less than 0.3% in final products. As such, it improperly establishes the DEA’s authority over legal hemp activities, which is contrary to the plain language and intent of the 2018 farm bill, according to the petitioners.

The petitioners in the lawsuit are RE Botanicals, Inc. and the Hemp Industries Association.

RE Botanicals, Inc. is a hemp manufacturer and retailer based in South Carolina. In 2019, it acquired Palmetto Synergistic Research LLC (dba Palmetto Harmony), which was founded to provide lawful, reliable, and high-quality hemp products.

“We are a small, woman-operated company,” said Janel Ralph, CEO of RE Botanicals. “The DEA’s new rule could put us out of business overnight.”

HIA is a trade association that represents approximately 1,050-member hemp businesses, including approximately 300 hemp processors and individuals involved in, or impacted by, the manufacture, distribution and/or sale of hemp extract and other products lawfully derived from industrial hemp. HIA successfully challenged DEA rulemaking in 2003, when the agency amended federal regulations to include naturally occurring THC within the definition of “synthetic THC,” thereby treating it as a Schedule I substance despite it falling outside the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.

“When Congress passed the 2018 farm bill, it explicitly carved hemp and its derivatives out of the Controlled Substances Act so that hemp can be regulated as an agricultural commodity,” said HIA President Rick Trojan. “The DEA’s interim final rule could create substantial barriers to the legal manufacturing of hemp-derived products, a critical component of the hemp supply chain, and devastate the entire hemp industry. Although the DEA states that is not its intention, the rule must be amended to ensure hemp remains an agricultural crop, as Congress intended.”

The petitioners are represented by leading hemp industry attorneys at Vicente Sederberg LLP, Kight Law Office PC, and Hoban Law Group, along with appellate attorneys from Yetter Coleman LLP, which has received national attention for its work against the DEA in the realm of cannabis research.

“The DEA implemented this rule without following proper rule-making procedures, such as providing the public with notice and the opportunity to comment,” said Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP and chair of the firm’s hemp and cannabinoids practice. “The petitioners believe legal action is necessary to protect the lawful U.S. hemp industry that Congress intended to establish when it enacted the 2018 farm bill.”

Colorado Ag Department Provides State Hemp Plan Status Update

COLORADO:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has requested Colorado clarify and revise certain elements of its State Hemp Management Plan, submitted on June 18, 2020. The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is currently reviewing USDA’s comments and questions and considering revisions as it continues to prioritize representing the needs of the state’s industrial hemp registrants and stakeholders.

“As we have done from day one, CDA is working through the state plan submission and approval process in a careful and comprehensive manner to best serve the needs of Colorado,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “Given the many changes at the federal level, we are working hard to create a stable and sound regulatory environment so that Colorado’s hemp industry can continue to lead the nation.”
Feedback received from numerous stakeholders statewide and over several months contributed to the plan, including input from farmers, processors and product manufacturers, state and local government agencies, healthcare professionals, financial services providers, law enforcement, and academic institutions, as well as consultation with Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes, as part of CDA’s Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan.

USDA Establishes Domestic Hemp Production Program

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. This program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States.

“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”

Click below to view a message from Secretary Perdue

Background:

Later this week, an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Register that will allow hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs. The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements. It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.

The interim final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Following publication, USDA invites public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden. A preview of the rule is posted on USDA’s website.

USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories.

More information about the provisions of the interim final rule is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website.

Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. For information on available programs, visit farmers.gov/hemp.

 

A Guide To Using CBD For Pain Management

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a term that’s gained quite a traction in the medical world. A substance that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, CBD doesn’t result in the “high” that is typically linked to cannabis. In fact, the “high” feeling is a result of using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another kind of cannabinoid.

So, why has CBD gained so much popularity recently? Well, studies suggest that topical CBD products, CBD oil, in particular, provide a remedy for chronic pain and decrease inflammation, pain, and discomfort linked to different health conditions.

Due to these benefits, it is a valuable alternative for people suffering from chronic pain and, hence, turn to stronger medications for relief. Such drugs, while useful, tend to result in side effects and cause dependency.

While research on CBD and its possible results are still ongoing, the future looks promising. Using CBD for pain is only going to become more common soon.

Capsules and Pills

Images: Pexels.com

Types of CBD Products

CBD is available in a variety of forms, and whichever type you choose depends on what you need to use CBD for. These forms typically include the following:

Tinctures and oils: Liquid infused with CBD is taken orally by placing it under your tongue with a dropper. This form is excellent for people who aren’t comfortable taking capsules or pills.

Lotions and creams: These topical treatments are great for joint and muscle pain. They can also be used for skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.

Capsules and pills: Such forms are commonly used to treat digestive issues and seizure disorders and may take some time to take effect once ingested.

Edibles: Ingesting gummies is one of the most common ways for CBD intake due to the taste, portability, affordability, and precision. 

Vaping: This form is the fastest way to experience the effects of CBD. Once CBD is inhaled through e-cigarettes, for instance, its compounds are directly absorbed into your bloodstream.

CBD For Pain Relief

Here are four ways CBD can help with pain:

Every person’s body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell-signaling system. According to research, what makes CBD effective is the impact it has on the endocannabinoid receptors found in a person’s immune system and brain.

These receptors are linked to a person’s cells and receive chemical signals from various stimuli and allow your cells to react. This reaction is what results in pain relief and anti-inflammation and, hence, helps manage chronic pain, such as post-trauma pain, back pain, and post-surgical pain.

Arthritis Pain Relief

Today, arthritis affects around 54 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The two most common kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The former is a degenerative disease that affects the bones and joints cartilage in the thumb, hip, and knee joints. The latter is an autoimmune disease where a person’s immune system attacks the joints and causes inflammation. It often occurs in the hands and feet.

While using CBD to treat pain related to arthritis does have a positive outlook, research has only been conducted on rats. Considerable research still needs to be carried out to prove if CBD is as effective in this area as it seems to be.

Cancer Treatment Pain Relief

Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation, come with their side effects, such as nausea, loss of appetite, and pain. According to research, CBD eases these side effects and also helps reduce inflammation and anxiety that results from these treatments.

Migraines

Throughout history, cannabis has been used as pain relief for headaches. While research isn’t specific, it does suggest that substances found in the cannabis plant result in therapeutic effects for headaches, especially migraines.

It’s important to note that these studies typically use the entire marijuana plant, which, apart from CBD, also contains THC. Hence, it is difficult to pinpoint whether these therapeutic effects are a result of THC, CBD, or both.

Side Effects

Intake of any product for medicinal purposes requires full awareness of its potential side effects. While CBD doesn’t have any significant risks associated with it, it may cause some side effects, such as:

  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Additionally, if you’re currently taking any dietary supplements, prescription medicines, or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, CBD may interfere with their results.

Conclusion

While research is still underway, CBD may provide pain relief for people suffering from various conditions. CBD should ideally be introduced to your body in small doses and then built up from there.

Moreover, it’s vital to consult your doctor to ensure it doesn’t interfere with any other treatments you may be undergoing. Your doctor can also help you figure out the dosage that’s right for you.

As more research is conducted, the uncertainty around using CBD for pain will decrease.

Have you used CBD to treat pain or any other medical conditions? Let us know in the comments below!

What Licensed Cannabis Businesses Must Know About Insurance

By Eric Weisbrot

The cannabis business landscape has come into the limelight over the last several years, with some states making historic moves to legalize its production, distribution, and consumption. However, many eager cannabis entrepreneurs and prospective business owners still face an uphill battle. The federal stance on cannabis makes any activities surrounding the drug illegal, and this muddies the waters for companies trying to get started or remain in the industry.

Many states, however, have taken away the illegality of some cannabis products and their use, including medical marijuana, small recreational use, and hemp and CBD businesses.

Unfortunately, the insurance industry has been slow to embrace the growing marketplace for these products, given the state of federal regulations. Companies involved in cannabis need to understand what their options – and limitations – are as it relates to getting appropriate insurance coverage, and how that impacts their business operations and licensing both now and in the future.

Types of Insurance Available by Niche

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, more insurance providers are coming to the table with coverage options for specific business types. Based on the products created and sold, the following niche markets within cannabis may find insurance solutions to meet their needs.

Medical Marijuana

Distributors of medical marijuana, such as licensed dispensaries, have the most access to insurance compared to other business lines. This is mainly due to the fact that legalizing the use of medical marijuana is often the first step states will take to ease laws surrounding cannabis products. Also, medical marijuana dispensaries are required to obtain a valid license in order to operate in states where these types of businesses are legal. One component of the licensing process is securing a surety bond.

A marijuana surety bond provides some guarantee that a dispensary will operate in line with state rules and regulations. Depending on the licensing process imposed in the state where the business is located, the bond may guarantee a dispensary pays taxes on products sold to consumers in a timely fashion. In addition to marijuana surety bonds, medical marijuana companies may also have access to general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and product insurance in some states.

Recreational Cannabis

Similar to medical marijuana businesses, recreational dispensaries are required to have a valid license in the state where they operate, which means a surety bond may also be necessary. Surety bonds work in the same manner for recreational dispensaries as they do for medical marijuana companies, and they are available from similar surety companies. However, recreational cannabis businesses may not have access to general liability insurance coverage or product-specific insurance. Commercial insurance may be available depending on the ownership and location of the dispensary itself.

Legal Hemp and CBD Products

The legal hemp industry, driven mostly by Cannabidiol or CBD, is growing at a rapid rate, projected to reach a staggering $22 billion by 2022. Licensing may be required for legal hemp and CBD businesses, as does a surety bond requirement. Many CBD and hemp businesses do have access to other types of insurance, including general liability, product coverage, and commercial property insurance. However, the number of insurance providers offering coverage has not kept up with the impressive growth in the industry.

The Process for Getting Insured or Bonded

The good news for cannabis businesses is that insurance companies are beginning to expand what coverage options they offer in several different states. However, that does not mean the process of obtaining the right insurance policy is an easy task. First, businesses need to have a business license which requires submitting an application to the state’s licensing authority. Within that application, companies in cannabis may be asked to provide detailed information about the owners of the company, its financials, and submit to a background check.

Once a license is in place, then insurance coverage or a surety bond can be pursued. The insurance provider will need to know the type of cannabis business that is in operation, the location, and the type of coverage necessary. The insurer may ask for verifying information such as financial documentation, credit history, and licensing details to approve an application. After these details are reviewed and approved, the cannabis business is provided proof of insurance via a certificate. The premium must be paid before a certificate is sent to the company, and it is typically renewed each year.

Although the task of obtaining adequate insurance coverage as a cannabis business is not a simple one, it is becoming less daunting as more states legalize cannabis from a medical and recreational perspective. Business owners and entrepreneurs joining the industry need to recognize that insurance and bonding is a necessary component of operating a sound business, and understanding what coverage is available is part of the process.


Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.

Finding The Best CBD Cream For Pain – What To Look For In A Good Product

The market for CBD products is expanding rapidly, and looks as if it will continue to do so as more benefits are reported about this remarkable substance. What is CBD, and why is it controversial? Here’s a brief explanation of the origins of CBD, and you’ll soon see why there is some controversy!

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of more than 100 compounds that have been extracted form the cannabis plant. There is the controversial aspect for you – it comes from cannabis. Of course, cannabis – or marijuana or weed – is associated with getting you ‘high’ and, in most states of the USA, is an illegal substance.

However, CBD does not give you this high. This is because the psychoactive element in cannabis is another compound, known as THC. In CBD products – whether they are oils, edibles or – as we are talking about here – creams, THC is not present, or may be so only in minute trace quantities.

So, CBD is safe, is natural, and has been widely reported as being an active pain reliever. Yet, as more research is needed into the product and its effects, it is not yet passed in all states as a medical product (although it is in some states).

What Ailments can CBD Help With?

There are widespread reports from patients, and there have been some clinical trials, that prove CBD can help relieve pain for sufferers of a wide range of ailments. These include MS, arthritis, HIV, diabetes, psoriasis and many more, as well as the effects of chemotherapy. It also has properties that help people who have trouble sleeping, and may help with anxiety and depression.

CBD has been available in many forms for some time – some people vape oil, others chew on gummies – and one of the most useful for people with skin ailments is CBD cream. Applied to the skin, it can help soothe as well as ease the pain, and there are many specially formulated products on the market.

Which is the best CBD cream for pain for you, and what should you look for? First, you need to ensure that the product you buy is from a reputable manufacturer, and one who has used carefully cultivated industrial hemp plants – the strain of cannabis from which CBD must be made to be legal – as there are examples of fake products that come from China, and elsewhere. These can be contaminated, and may not even be CBD. The link above gives you an excellent guide to the brands to look for, and how and where to buy them.

Further Information

You may want to examine the ingredients of various CBD creams before you choose the right one. For example, while many patients have reported that a CBD cream containing the permitted trace amounts of THC is more effective for them, others do not like the effect of THC – which can be notable even in such small amounts.

If it’s for skin ailments, you may also want to look for additional ingredients that may help with your skin problem. Some creams include the likes of beeswax and cocoa butter, and you should always ensure the additional products are organic and natural.

We should add that prices can vary greatly, so you may want to shop around – but beware of very cheap products for the reason mentioned above – and if you are currently on any medication discuss it with your doctor first.

As research continues, so the uses for CBD become clearer, but so far it is clear that pain relief is one. Try it for yourself, and see if CBD cream can help relieve your chronic pain.

What’s The Deal With Smokable CBD Hemp Flower?

CBD-rich hemp flower strains are appearing in head shops and vape shops all over the United Kingdom.

Thanks to a surge in demand from customers for CBD from ‘industrial hemp flower’ over the last decade, farmers all over European countries and the united states are working to grow hemp species with high levels of CBD and favorable terpene kinds.

This has led to a few excellent kinds of high-quality hemp flower coming to the industry, all with lower levels of THC that they’re considered hemp legally – 1.2% is believed to be the limit in the United Kingdom, but the situation is cloudy.

IHF smokeable hemp has smoked its fair share of all these buds. As being a part of the market since its first sprouted in Colorado, the company has tried many CBD flowers from all over the globe. Buds from Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, America, Austria and Netherlands, all unique in quality, genetics and, ultimately, cannabinoid content.

But what’s the deal with smokable CBD hemp flower and how does it feel, IHF LLC explained. To answer these questions, listed here are five results or effects of smoking CBD hemp flower.

Remarkable Pain-Killer

The single most amazing effect of smoking high-CBD hemp flowers is its capability to reduce pain. Lots of people make use of CBD-rich strains to relieve their pain. Many people say that it is more effective than strains with little CBD and high THC.

Reduces Mind-Chatter

We have found that mind-chatter reduces significantly right after using a few high-CBD buds. This non-stop inner conversation is switched all the way down, and it is much easier to let thoughts appear and vanish. Having a couple of puffs on a CBD constitutes a great mind-calming exercise if that is your thing.

Obliterates Stress and Anxiety

It is extensively observed that smoking CBD marijuana very quickly obliterates any stress and anxiety you are feeling. In some cases, you might not even know that you are suffering from a subdued sensation of stress and anxiety or discomfort until you have a couple of puffs on vape or a CBD joint and in a literal sense feel the stress in the body release.

Body High

The implications of smoking CBD hemp flowers could be delicate, but they are generally very apparent. It is actually best explained as a body high. After a couple of puffs of CBD, you will feel a realistic sensation of pleasure and a elimination of anxiety throughout the body.

Attention and Focus Greatly Improve

Smokable high-quality CBD flower may practically hoax you into feeling a ‘high’ just like that of THC. On the other hand, after using CBD bud, you can easily focus and concentrate with no trouble. The fact is, it may even improve the concentration and expand the attention.

THC vs CBD

thcvscbdImage source: daintri.com

THC and CBD impact your body in a different way. Once you try a high-THC strain, the psychoactive activates directly with specific cell receptors in your neurological system and throughout your body.

The particular substance replaces various other substances that your body produce naturally, that are known as endocannabinoids.

The particular one on one engagement with all these cell receptors leads to THC’s psychoactive effects. CBD, on the flip side, doesn’t interact most of these cell receptors specifically.

CBD controls the endocannabinoids that you have. Endocannabinoids are usually your body’s own THC. CBD can easily prevent all these endocannabinoids from being damaged. Also, it can increase the volumes of a few of these substances. CBD modulates what is known as endocannabinoid tone.

 

OLCC Commission Action On Rules February 2019

Recreational retail shops won’t be open until October.

OREGON: On February 21, 2019, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission took the following rule-making actions:

FINAL ACTION

Industrial Hemp Package

  • House Bill 4089 passed during the 2018 legislative session. The bill alters the way hemp items can enter the Oregon Liquor Control Commission licensed system.
  • This package allows for additional license types to receive industrial hemp items from growers and handlers registered with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
  • It also requires that hemp items received by OLCC licensees are tracked using the seed-to-sale tracking system.
  • ACTION:
    • The Commission approved the amendments to amend OAR 845-025-1015, -1060, -1335, -2700, -2750, -2800, -3210, -3215, -3285, -3500, -8520, -8590.
    • The Commission adopted 845-025-2705, -2755, -2760, -2775, -2785.
    • The Commission repealed 845-025-3285.
    • These actions are effective March 1, 2019.

For more information, contact Bryant Haley: bryant.haley@oregon.gov

Senators Wyden, Merkley Urge FDA To Update Regulations To Ensure US Producers & Consumers Have Access To CBD, Other Hemp Products

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update federal regulations governing the use of certain hemp-derived ingredients in food, beverages or dietary supplements.

Congress legalized the production and sale of industrial hemp and hemp derivatives, including hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), when it passed Wyden and Merkley’s Hemp Farming Act as a provision included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Outdated regulations, however, limit producers from taking full advantage of the industrial hemp market by, for example, prohibiting food products containing CBD from being sold across state lines.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Wyden and Merkley requested the FDA update its regulations and give U.S. producers more flexibility in the production, consumption, and sale of hemp products.

“Farmers in Oregon and nationwide are poised to make real economic gains for their communities once these regulations are updated,” Wyden and Merkley wrote. “We will be closely engaged in the ongoing implementation of our legislation, as it was Congress’ intent to ensure that both U.S producers and consumers have access to a full range of hemp-derived products, including hemp-derived cannabinoids.”

As the FDA is operating with limited staff due to the Trump shutdown, Wyden and Merkley requested a response and answer to the following questions within 30 calendar days of the government reopening.

  1. What steps are the agency advancing to clarify to the public the authority the agency has in the production and marketing of hemp, specifically Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives?
  2. What lawful pathways are currently available for those who seek approval to introduce Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives as a food, beverages or dietary supplement, including into interstate commerce?
  3. Are there circumstances in which Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives may be permitted as a food, beverages or dietary supplement by the agency?
  4. Will the agency consider issuing a regulation, or pursing a process, that would allow Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives in food, beverages or dietary supplements that cross state lines?

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

Maryland Hemp Distribution Bill Signed Into Law

MARYLAND:  Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has signed legislation into law expanding the state’s hemp production program.

House Bill 698 expands the state’s existing pilot program to explicitly permit for the distribution, marketing, and sale of hemp – both in state and out of state. Lawmakers had overwhelmingly passed the bill by a vote of 182 to 1.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.