The Biden administration and Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House could implement significant changes to federal tobacco and cannabis policy over the next two years. For tobacco, the change in party control of the White House and Senate will likely revive the debate around electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products. For cannabis, the policy may shift toward outright reform (such as federal decriminalization or legalization), federal taxation, or the enactment of legislation beneficial to the cannabis industry.
Continue Reading Tobacco & Cannabis Policy in 2021

In November 2019, we reported that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an interim final rule establishing a domestic hemp production program that was intended to go into effect for two years before being replaced by a final rule. On January 19, 2021, USDA published that final rule after considering nearly 5,900 public comments and incorporating lessons learned from the 2020 growing season. While the final rule focuses on industrial hemp production, not processed hemp products (such as CBD derived from hemp), it may be particularly important to those who wish to exercise due diligence on their agricultural supply chains. It will be effective March 22, 2021, unless the new Administration changes the timeline.
Continue Reading USDA Finalizes Rule to Establish Domestic Hemp Production Program

On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, the Washington State Attorney General’s office issued a press release that Smoker’s Outlet Online, a Pennsylvania online tobacco retailer, would be forced to pay $65,885 for allegedly distributing tobacco products into Washington state. The payment by Smoker’s Outlet Online was a settlement to avoid a lawsuit from the Attorney General’s

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, expanding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) 7(a) loan program by establishing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP authorizes up to $349 billion in federally backed loans through June 30, 2020, or until funds run out, for many small businesses across the country.
Continue Reading Paycheck Protection Program Loans for Tobacco, Hemp, and Marijuana Businesses?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to investigate cannabis companies for possible enforcement actions related to investment fraud and market manipulation, with an increasing focus on Canadian companies. Most recently, Cronos Group, one of the largest cannabis producers in Canada, received an inquiry from the SEC related to its revenue recognition practices. As reported by MarketWatch, a Cronos company lawyer sent an e-mail to employees on March 10 instructing staff to retain certain records pertaining to a “confidential and non-public inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
Continue Reading Canadian Cannabis Company Receives SEC Inquiry Over Revenue Recognition

Did you know that there are special environmental requirements for businesses manufacturing, distributing and selling electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)?  Late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency added e-cigarettes, vape pens and certain e-liquids as hazardous waste pharmaceuticals under a final rule entitled “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing

Did you know that businesses selling tobacco products on the Internet can potentially be required to comply with requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act?  There is a line of cases ruling that websites must be accessible for individuals who are sight-impaired, and there are specific requirements for doing so.  As some of our clients

We hope that our clients and friends are managing in these unprecedented times.  The Troutman Sanders Tobacco Team is now working in a remote environment, thanks to amazing support from the Firm.  As part of our business continuity planning, Troutman Sanders has a plan to address situations where our physical offices may be unavailable or where our attorneys and staff might need to work outside the office for extended periods of time. The plan provides capabilities for attorneys and staff to work remotely and continue to provide legal services to our clients.  We continue to actively serve clients (and are as busy as we have ever been), so please let us know how we can help.
Continue Reading Troutman Sanders Tobacco Team COVID-19 Update

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the delay of enforcement of certain requirements under the interim final rule (IFR) establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. Under the new guidance, USDA will delay enforcement of the requirement for labs to be registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the requirement that producers use a DEA-registered reverse distributor or law enforcement to dispose of non-compliant plants under certain circumstances. While lab tests can be conducted by labs that are not yet registered with DEA, the labs must still meet all the other requirements in the IFR.
Continue Reading USDA and DEA Announce Delay of Hemp Rule Enforcement in Respect of Labs, Hot-Hemp Disposal