A Surprise Cannabinoid, Hemp Approved for Animal Feed, and other legal news to ponder from Cape Law Firm
The new cannabinoid on the block:
Rapid growth in the cannabis and hemp industries is leading to the discovery of new cannabinoids. Delta-10 THC, only recently identified as a new cannabinoid, is starting to ripple through the industry. Delta-10 was discovered accidentally after a California-based company found unusual crystals in distillate extracted from outdoor-grown cannabis that had absorbed fire-retardant materials used to put out forest fires. Research indicates that Delta-10 may have psychoactive effects, but much milder than Delta-9. Only a few months ago we were writing about the newly discovered Delta-8 THC and the legal uncertainties surrounding its extraction from hemp (instead of cannabis). These newly found cannabinoids will undoubtedly lead to changes in how the cannabis plant is used and regulated. A few examples come to mind:
- While Delta-9 THC is the focus of most existing federal and State cannabis regulation, these new cannabinoids highlight the shortcomings of using only Delta-9 as the legal “bright line” for regulatory purposes.
- Robust access to cannabis by plant breeders will enable the development of specialized varieties in relation to cannabinoid content.
- Research and regulation of cannabis should move toward a unified, holistic view of the plant with the government’s oversight specifically targeted to enable researchers and businesses to develop better and more consistent products.
Members removed from Arkansas State Plant Board
As expected, nine members of the Arkansas State Plant Board were removed from their positions by the Pulaski County Circuit Court on June 10. The removals are the result of a ruling last month where the Arkansas Supreme Court found those members were unconstitutionally appointed by private industry associations. The association appointments that were stricken include:
- Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association
- Arkansas Seed Dealers Association
- Arkansas Seed Growers Association
- Arkansas Pest Management Association
- Arkansas Crop Protection Association
- Arkansas Forestry Association
- Arkansas State Horticultural Society
- Arkansas Green Industry Association
- Arkansas Oil Marketers Association
Hemp approved for animal feed in Montana
Montana recently passed a first-of-its-kind law allowing hemp and hemp-derived substances as an ingredient in commercial animal feed. The new law represents a significant step forward for hemp grain producers and expands agricultural markets for hemp. Feeds for horses, pets, and specialty pets may now include hemp and hemp-based ingredients in Montana. Feeds for other commodity livestock (cattle, sheep, swine, etc.) will still have to await approval of hemp by the Food & Drug Administration as a safe food ingredient.
Cape Law Firm’s Frequently (or Randomly) Asked Questions
What are “marking requirements” for plant varieties protected by a PVP Certificate?
The breeder/developer of a new plant variety should make it clear to users and consumers that the variety is “protected.” A legally binding public notice of protected variety status is accomplished by using specific phrases from the Plant Variety Protection Act on a container label or printing containing these words:
- “Unauthorized Propagation Prohibited” or “Unauthorized Seed Multiplication Prohibited”; and
- “U.S. Protected Variety”
In the absence of these notices, the variety owner will not be permitted to obtain damages from an infringer. However, if these phrases are used on a variety that is not actually PVP-protected, that amounts to “false marking” and anyone who is damaged by the falsely marked variety has a statutory right to sue to recover its damages.