U.S. Court of Appeals Weighs in on Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC Classification Cannabis Practice Update

U.S. Court of Appeals Weighs in on Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC Classification Cannabis Practice Update
CANNANNEW REPORT

Date: May 25, 2022 Key Notes: The Ninth Circuit found that Delta-8 THC products are federally legal under the plain meaning of the definition of “hemp” set by the 2018 Farm Bill, making it the first Circuit to find such products lawful. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction in favor of the trademark holder on a Delta-8 THC product, finding that because the products were federally legal, they constituted “lawful use” in commerce for trademark purposes. Relying on the plain language of the statute, the Ninth Circuit rejected arguments that Delta-8 THC was synthetic and illegal under DEA’s interpretation, or that substances legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill had to be for industrial use and not human consumption. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has weighed in on the legal gray area that hemp-derived Delta-8 THC has inhabited since the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (“2018 Farm Bill”) legalized hemp nationwide. The Court’s conclusion is likely to inspire cautious optimism across the hemp and hemp-products industry, and contrasts with the increasing number of states that are prohibiting or regulating Delta-8 THC products at the state level. On May 19, 2022, a three-judge panel upheld a preliminary injunction issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Boyd Street Distro, LLC, which stands accused of infringing AK Futures’ trademark on “Cake”-branded Delta-8 THC vapor products. On appeal, Boyd Street Distro, LLC argued that AK Futures did not have a protectable trademark for its “Cake” products because Delta-8 THC is illegal under federal law. Affirming the grant of the preliminary injunction, the Ninth Circuit held that the Delta-8 THC in AK Futures’ vapor products “fit comfortably within the statutory definition of ‘hemp.’” The Ninth Circuit reasoned that the plain meaning of the 2018 Farm Bill’s definition of “hemp” only required…

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Source : U.S. Court of Appeals Weighs in on Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC Classification Cannabis Practice Update

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