Given the massive wave of medical and adult use marijuana laws being passed across the country, the average person may think there is no longer any debate as to whether marijuana has legitimate medical applications. On June 10, 2021, however the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard argument on exactly that question. The case has potential to set important precedent not just for marijuana scheduling, but also other Schedule I substances being studied for their therapeutic potential.
Continue Reading 9th Circuit Hears a New Attempt at Forcing the DEA’s Hand on Marijuana Scheduling

On June 11, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for premium cigars issued in March 2018 as part of the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is published twice a year. Nevertheless, FDA commissioned a study to obtain information similar to what it sought in the ANPRM. The study is scheduled to be complete in Spring 2022. Thus, there is still a chance FDA takes a modified approach with respect to premium cigars in the future.
Continue Reading FDA Withdraws Notice of Proposed Rulemaking For Premium Cigars

The Troutman Pepper Tobacco Team will participate in the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Annual Conference.  The event is virtual and will be held May 18-20, 2021.

The conference has a well-rounded agenda addressing timely topics of interest for tobacco and nicotine industry stakeholders.  FDA Center for Tobacco Products Director Mitch Zeller will address

On April 22, Senator Dick Durbin and others introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2021 (S. 1314). The bill would establish a federal excise tax for electronic nicotine delivery systems (“ENDS”) and all other tobacco products that are not currently subject to federal tobacco products excise taxes. The bill would also double the tax rates for cigarettes and impose equivalent rates for most other tobacco products.
Continue Reading Senators Introduce Federal Legislation to Tax ENDS and Substantially Increase Taxes for Other Tobacco Products

In Global Hookah Distribs. v. Florida, No. 1D20-822 (Apr. 12, 2021), a case before the First District Court of Appeal of Florida, Global Hookah Distributors (Global) unsuccessfully sought a refund of tobacco excise taxes it paid to the State of Florida. Global’s argument rested principally on its lack of a substantial “nexus” with the State.
Continue Reading Florida Court Finds Nonresident Tobacco Distributor On the Hook For Excise Taxes Regardless of Physical Presence

On April 29, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will issue proposed tobacco product standards within the next year that will effectively ban menthol cigarettes and characterizing flavors in cigars. Once FDA issues proposed tobacco product standards, it will need to go through the notice and comment rulemaking process (and possibly litigation), so it could take several years before FDA implements any new standards.


Continue Reading FDA Proposes to Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Characterizing Flavors in Cigars

In late February, we blogged about legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly legalizing recreational marijuana.  On March 31, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam submitted a substitute bill to the Senate for consideration. See https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+sum+SB1406. The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene Special Session I on April 7th, when it will consider the Governor’s marijuana proposal.
Continue Reading Virginia Governor Pushes for Additional Changes to Marijuana Legislation Passed by the General Assembly

In January, we reported that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final rule establishing a domestic hemp production program, publishing it days before President Biden was inaugurated. The new Administration then instituted a “regulatory freeze pending review” with respect to published rules not yet in effect.

In a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service