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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In a Vapor Voice article entitled “All Hands On Deck”, Timothy Donahue sifts through the information regarding the premarket tobacco review process as it pertains to the vapor industry. Donahue’s article condenses the key factors of what could be an overwhelming process for many vapor companies. As Donahue notes, “the clock just started ticking a lot faster” for vapor companies who plan to submit PMTAs, due to a court-ruling by a U.S. District Court in Maryland that bumped the original PMTA deadline from August 2022 to May 2020.
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On September 20, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it will issue a proposed rule governing the process for premarket tobacco applications, including for electronic nicotine delivery systems.  The rule (when finalized) would establish binding procedures for PMTAs, as opposed to the current non-binding procedures reflected in FDA guidance.
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Today, the Trump Administration announced that it is instructing the Food and Drug Administration to “finalize a compliance policy in the coming weeks that would prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.” 
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On Thursday, August 15, 2019, the Food & Drug Administration published for public comment a new proposed rule covering cigarette labeling and advertising. The proposed rule, Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements, would require, once finalized, new health warnings on cigarette packages and in advertisements to promote greater public understanding of the negative health

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to be concerned about the proliferation of products containing CBD that are marketed for therapeutic or medical uses that have not been approved by the FDA.  On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, FDA issued a press release announcing it has issued a warning letter to Curaleaf Inc., of Wakefield, Massachusetts, alleging the company illegally sold unapproved products containing cannabidiol (CBD) online with unsubstantiated claims that the products treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, opioid withdrawal, pain and pet anxiety, among other conditions or diseases.
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On the heels of a Maryland federal judge’s order advancing to May 2020 the deadline for premarket review submissions (discussed here), a group of public health advocates (led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller) has petitioned the Secretary of Health and Human Services to appeal the court’s decision and to revamp the premarket review process for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
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On July 11, a federal judge issued an important ruling that dramatically advances submission deadlines for premarket review of tobacco products.  As a function of that ruling, the deadline for applications for FDA premarket review of “deemed” tobacco products (including cigars, pipe tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)) is now May 11, 2020.
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