On October 16, the Montgomery County Council publicly authorized its lawsuit filed in federal court on October 11, against Juul Labs and Altria Group for alleged violations of Maryland and federal law based on claims of aggressive marketing of e-cigarette products to minors.

Council President Nancy Navarro remarked, “The Council authorizes taking legal action against Juul Labs and Altria Group. This lawsuit supports our ongoing efforts to protect our community members from the public health impacts associated with e-cigarette products and vaping.
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Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its interim final rule on the establishment of a domestic hemp production program.  It is intended to be effective for two years and then be replaced with a final rule.  The rule outlines provisions for USDA to approve plans submitted by States and Native American tribes for the US domestic production of hemp.
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On October 7, 2019, Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced the “Ending Nicotine Dependence from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Act of 2019” (or “END ENDS Act”), which was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. According to the bill, the Act would “amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish a tobacco product standard prohibiting any e-liquid with a concentration of nicotine higher than 20 milligrams per milliliter” in an attempt to reduce adolescent use of ENDS.
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On October 21, 2019, the Massachusetts Superior Court for Suffolk County preliminarily enjoined the State – from and after October 28, 2019 – from implementing and enforcing the ban as to “nicotine-vaping products” unless and until the executive branch promulgated the regulation in accordance with Massachusetts due process requirements.  The court allowed the ban to continue with respect to “products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and any other cannabinoid or to black market products.” 
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The Troutman Sanders Tobacco Team will attend a meeting at the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products on “Deemed Tobacco Product Applications” October 28-29, 2019.

The meeting is intended to provide information on the agency’s expectations for tobacco product applications, with a particular focus on deemed tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems, cigars, pipe and waterpipe. 
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The Troutman Sanders Tobacco Team will attend the Food and Drug Law Institute Tobacco and Nicotine Products Regulation and Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. October 24-25, 2019.

A diverse group of stakeholders, including manufacturers, governmental agencies, researchers and public health advocates, will meet to discuss effective regulation of the broad spectrum of tobacco and nicotine products.  FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Director Mitch Zeller will provide an update on regulations, guidance documents and other initiatives. 
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Flavored vapor product bans in two States were temporarily stayed this week.  On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, a Michigan state judge temporarily blocked the State’s emergency ban on flavored vapor products, which went into effect earlier this month.  The plaintiffs were two vapor product retailers and an individual owner.  In addition to presenting evidence that the ban had significantly hurt their businesses (resulting in the complete shutdown of one of the companies’ business), the plaintiffs also presented several witnesses whose testimony showed that the ban presented a harm to the public, challenged the efficacy of certain surveys presented by the State and challenged the supposed correlation between youth consumption of burning tobacco and e-cigarettes. 
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TMA and Vapor Voice recently held their “Finding Direction: Navigating PMTAs” seminar and virtual workshop, which was hosted by Troutman Sanders at its Richmond, Virginia office on August 22, 2019. The seminar was moderated by Jim Solyst, the Vice President of Federal Government Affairs at Swedish Match North America. Speakers included Troutman Sanders Partner Bryan Haynes, Kevin Burd, CEO North America Nicotine, Josh Church, Chief Regulatory & Compliance officer at JWEI Group, Mike Ogden, Sr. Vice President of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at Reynolds American Inc., Dr. Samina Qureshi, Vice President at PSI International Inc., Dr. Lorraine Rusch, President at High Point Clinical Trials, and Steve Sibley, Vice President at Synchrogenix. The seminar was provided to give companies insight on navigating the FDA’s Guidance regarding Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTAs) for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), published in June 2019, which dictates the standards for PMTA submission process as companies prepare their submissions for the May 2020 deadline.
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