New State Cannabis Department Comes With New Rules. Spoiler Alert: Not Everyone Is Happy.

California has finally ridden itself of its three-headed cannabis beast and replaced its multiple regulatory authorities with the single Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). Led by the newly appointed director, Nicole Elliot – former cannabis advisor to Governor Newsom – the DCC will be responsible for state licensing and enforcement for commercial cannabis activity. One […]

Hemp & CBD in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics – Federal and CA Landscape

Although California has legalized cannabis despite federal illegality, on the issue of hemp-derived foods, current state law conforms to federal law. And under federal law, most hemp derivatives are currently not permitted as food additives for several reasons. Hemp in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics under Federal Law One reason is the “drug exclusion rule”, of […]

Legislative Update: Wins and Losses as First House Deadline Approaches

The end of April marks the deadline for policy committees to hear all legislation identified as having a fiscal impact on the state (which includes most bills). If bills are not heard by then, they are automatically turned into two-year bills and are stuck in their existing location until next year. With the Legislature forced […]

California Trademark Protection for Cannabis Businesses

A trademark is a word, name, or symbol used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods and services of one company from those manufactured, sold, and/or provided by others. Trademarks help businesses create and maintain a unique brand and often represent a company’s reputation, brand identity, and goodwill.  Trademark infringement occurs when another business […]

New Year, Old Battles: California’s Latest Cannabis Legislation

With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench in their plans for cannabis policy last year, lawmakers and state regulators are pushing for big changes in 2021. The Newsom Administration is working towards a consolidation of the three licensing authorities (see the latest analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office here). At the same time, legislators continue […]

California Submits Proposed Hemp Regulations to the USDA – If Approved, Compliance Will be Key

On September 21, 2020, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released its proposed Regulatory Plan for Hemp Production (the “Regulatory Plan”). They were submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and must be approved or denied within 60 days, and if approved, become immediately operative. Notably, the regulations provide guidelines for […]

Much Ado About the DEA Interim Final Rule; What’s The Deal With Hemp?

On August 21, 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published an interim final rule (IFR) to implement hemp-related amendments to the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that were made by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”). According to the DEA, this IFR “merely confirms [the agency’s] regulations to the statutory amendments […]

An End to the FDA Bottleneck? Recent Developments in the Federal Regulation of CBD

Both consumers and members of industry have been eagerly waiting for the FDA to provide clarity as to the regulatory future of Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. This overwhelming public interest has translated into substantial, bipartisan political pressure at the highest levels of government. Both the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders have made legislative […]

In With SB837 and Out With Vertical Integration

The vertical integration model that LA MMJ businesses follow has been redefined by SB837. Read on to find out what this means and how it could affect the cannabis industry going forward. Definition: Vertical integration is when a business does not get its products from a wholesaler or distributor but sells what it produces. In […]

USDA Interim Final Hemp Rules

On October 31, 2019 — yes, on Halloween and almost a year after the legalization of commercial hemp production — the USDA finally released its interim final rule (“IFR”) to establish the Domestic Hemp Production Program. As you may recall, on December 20, 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 — better known as the […]