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

FDA announced yesterday via an update to its website that it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21.  This announcement (the day after Christmas) follows the signing into law on December 20, 2019 of legislation amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.
Continue Reading FDA Alert: Tobacco Age 21 Effective Immediately Per FDA

Agustin Rodriguez

Agustin is Counsel in the firm’s Government Investigations, Compliance and Enforcement practice. He leverages his extensive background to assist clients in navigating federal, state and local regulation of tobacco, alcohol and other consumer products. He has unique experience advising on global supply chain risk management issues, specifically in Asia and Latin America.
Continue Reading Troutman Sanders Welcomes Agustin Rodriguez

The Federal Trade Commission recently issued its Cigarette Report and Smokeless Tobacco Report summarizing 2016 data about the tobacco industry.  Important observations from the Cigarette Report include:

  • The number of cigarettes that the largest cigarette companies in the United States sold to wholesalers and retailers nationwide declined from 244.2 billion in 2015 to 240.5 billion in 2016;
  • The amount spent on cigarette advertising and promotion increased from $8.30 billion in 2015 to $8.71 billion in 2016; and
  • Price discounts paid to cigarette retailers ($5.81 billion) and wholesalers ($1.44 billion) were the two largest expenditure categories in 2016. Combined spending on price discounts increased from $6.95 billion in 2015 to $7.25 billion in 2016, accounting for 83.2 percent of industry spending.


Continue Reading FTC Issues Cigarette and Smokeless Tobacco Reports