Perkins Coie and the National Cannabis Laboratory Council (NCLC) are proud to announce the release of “Standardizing Cannabis Lab Testing Nationally,” a white paper authored by numerous lab scientists and operators from around the country and edited by Perkins Coie attorneys.

As the legal cannabis market continues to expand, and potential federal legalization and inevitable interstate commerce loom on the horizon, it is imperative that federal agencies address the discrepancies among state testing requirements and develop a standardized testing regime. The establishment of national standards will create a pathway for interstate commerce of cannabis products, resolve the issues associated with varying state-based testing requirements, and protect public health by ensuring that testing for certain pesticides, elemental impurities, and harmful additives will be consistent throughout the United States.

NCLC proposes a unified approach to testing based on data from participating laboratories and scientifically recognized standards. The group specifically suggests setting national standards governing (1) standard test panels setting forth specific compounds to include in an analysis, (2) sampling requirements and testing methodologies, and (3) lab accreditation and proficiency testing requirements. Read the white paper here.

Late last week, a bi-partisan pair of federal lawmakers introduced a new bill to expand cannabis companies’ access to financial resources and opportunities. Introduced by Reps. Troy Carter (D-La.) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (“CLIMB”) Act, H.R. 8200, aims to permit cannabis businesses to engage with community development, small business, minority development, and other public or private financial capital sources for investment and financing. Further, the bill aims to create a safe harbor for security exchanges to list securities for legitimate cannabis businesses.

Continue Reading CLIMB Act Introduced in Congress

More than 20 state attorneys general (AGs) authored an open letter to congressional leaders calling for legislation that would regulate tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) edibles that mimic the packaging and names of popular products.  In their June 22 letter, the state AGs voiced their concern, particularly for children, writing that “copycat THC edibles pose a grave risk to the health, safety, and welfare of our children.”  Specifically, the state AGs asked Congress to “immediately enact legislation authorizing trademark holders of well-known and trusted consumer packaged goods to hold accountable those malicious actors who are using those marks to market illicit copycat THC edibles to children.”

Continue Reading State AGs Call for Congressional Action on Copycat THC Edibles

Cannabis: In Focus

  • New Mexico class action calls for insurance coverage for medical cannabis
  • Bicameral attempt to legislate bipartisan cannabis omnibus package
  • Oregon ban on “artificially derived cannabinoids” in cannabis products set to take effect July 1, 2022
Continue Reading Cannabis Legal Report—Week of June 19, 2022

As the cannabis industry and its associated sectors have gained increasing social and legal acceptance, these businesses have started to face an issue that has been plaguing traditional Consumer Packaged Goods companies in the state of California for decades—Proposition 65 claims.

Proposition 65 is a California initiative approved by voters in 1986 and enacted into law as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The law requires California to publish a list of substances that are known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm. The law prohibits “knowingly and intentionally” causing exposure to one of the substances on the list without first providing a “clear and reasonable” warning. To comply with Proposition 65, businesses must provide consumers with a Proposition 65 compliant warning unless they can ensure that their product does not expose consumers to a listed substance at levels that may cause cancer or reproductive harm.

Continue Reading Prop 65 Plaintiffs Set Their Sights on Cannabis Industry

Cannabis: In Focus

  • Candy Companies Defend Their Trademarks, Consider THC Copycat Products a Health Hazard
  • Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Possession Conviction, Even With Out-of-State Registry Card
Continue Reading Cannabis Legal Report—Week of June 5, 2022

As Congress continues to debate the SAFE Banking Act, cannabis business and financial institutions should pay close attention to the bill’s potential to transform the accessibility of banking and payment processing solutions within the cannabis industry. In May, a national group of state banking regulators issued open letters to Congress urging passage of the bill. This action by state banking regulators builds upon prior support from groups like the American Bankers Association as well as dozens of state governors and attorneys general. Here, we check in on the status of the SAFE Banking Act and look ahead for its implications if passed.

Continue Reading Where Is the SAFE Banking Act?

On May 26, the FDA issued warning letters to four companies alleging that the companies sold unapproved animal drugs containing cannabidiol (CBD). Specifically, these products were intended for use in food-producing animals. In announcing the warning letters, the agency stated it was “taking steps regarding these unapproved and potentially unsafe products now to help protect animals and the safety of the food supply.”

The FDA’s latest set of warning letters builds upon the letters the agency has issued in recent years that highlight that CBD products are not approved for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Just this year, the agency issued at least 14 such letters targeting consumer products. These warning letters are unique as they target companies selling products targeted for food-producing animals, rather than those focused on human consumption.  

Continue Reading FDA Issues New CBD Warning Letters for Animal Products

On May 19, 2022, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion holding that Delta-8 THC products are legal at the federal level and eligible for intellectual property protection. The Ninth Circuit held that the “2018 Farm Bill was silent with regard to Delta-8 THC,” writing that “regardless of the wisdom of legalizing delta-8 THC products, this Court will not substitute its own policy judgment for that of Congress.” According to the Court, if the bill “inadvertently created a loophole legalizing vaping products containing delta-8 THC, then it is for Congress to fix its mistake.”

 The case involved two companies selling products both labeled under “Cake” branding. Manufacturer AK Futures argued that a competitor was selling counterfeit “Cake” Delta-8 THC products. The competitor did not contest that it was selling counterfeit “Cake” products, but instead it argued that AK Futures could not hold a valid trademark because Delta-8 THC was illegal under federal law.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Rules on Legality of Delta-8 THC Products

On May 13, the FDA issued a public warning regarding reports of accidental ingestion of food products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by children. The FDA warned that edible products containing THC “can be easily mistaken for commonly consumed foods such as breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies, and accidentally ingested.” The agency was particularly concerned as some products were specifically designed to mimic popular, well-recognized foods that appeal to children via similar brand names, logos, or pictures.

The FDA’s public warning reports that the agency has received over 100 adverse event reports involving children and adults who consumed edible THC products. Reportedly, these adverse events involved hallucinations, increased heart rate, and vomiting, and many of the children involved required medical intervention or hospital admission. The agency specifically noted that several of the adverse event reports were prompted following the consumption of products intentionally made to be a “copycat” of a popular food product.

The FDA is working with federal and state partners to address these concerns and monitor this emerging market. The agency further advised that consumers and health professionals report complaints and cases of accidental ingestion to its MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.