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 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

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will review a preliminary injunction against Philadelphia’s enforcement of an ordinance banning the sale of certain flavored tobacco products.

Will a preliminary injunction against Philadelphia’s flavored tobacco ban stand? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will have the opportunity to decide in Cigar Association of America, et al. v. City of Philadelphia, et al., No. 20-3519 (3d Cir.), appealed from, No. 2:20-cv-03220 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 13, 2020).
Continue Reading Philadelphia Appeals Preliminary Injunction Against Flavor Ban

By Robert Claiborne, Dascher Pasco & Bryan Haynes, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP

Did the FDA violate the Constitution when it issued its rule Deeming Tobacco Products to Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act, 81 Fed. Reg. 28,973 (May 10, 2016) (the “Deeming Rule”)? No, according to a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Continue Reading DC Circuit Decides Deeming Rule Doesn’t Violate Appointments Clause or First Amendment

As many in the tobacco industry know, there is a growing trend among state and local governments to prohibit or restrict the sale of flavored tobacco or nicotine products. Some governments are focusing on narrow subsets of flavored tobacco or nicotine products, like vapor products or electronic cigarettes, while others are intent on a broader prohibition or restriction that might include more traditional products like cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco. At the state level, Attorneys General have been at the forefront of the ensuing legal battles over this type of legislation.
Continue Reading California Attorney General Continues Fight to Ban Flavored Tobacco Products

On Friday, November 13, 2020, a federal district court entered a preliminary injunction against the City of Philadelphia’s Ordinance 180457, which purported to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, with minor exceptions.  As in all cases where a preliminary injunction is entered, the court found that the Plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits and would be irreparably harmed absent an injunction, and that the balance of the equities and the public interest weighed in favor of an injunction.
Continue Reading Federal Court Enjoins City of Philadelphia Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

Plaintiffs have appealed to the Eighth and Ninth Circuits, challenging flavored tobacco bans in Los Angeles County, California, and the City of Edina, Minnesota. The cases could have implications for similar laws in other States and localities.

Has Congress preempted local authority to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products? Two different U.S. Courts of Appeals will have the opportunity to answer the question in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. City of Edina, et al., No. 20-2852 (8th Cir.), and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. v. Los Angeles County, et al., No. 20-55930 (9th Cir.).
Continue Reading Two U.S. Courts of Appeals to Consider Federal Preemption of Local Flavor Bans

On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order enjoining FDA from enforcing the premarket review requirement contained in the agency’s “Deeming Rule” against “premium cigars” (as defined in the order) until the agency completes a review of the question of “whether a streamlined substantial equivalence process is appropriate for premium cigars.”  The opinion does not throw out the Deeming Rule in its entirety but only remands it to the agency for further consideration of this question.
Continue Reading FDA Premarket Review Process for Premium Cigars Halted