United States: Ninth Circuit Holds Delta-8 THC Products Are Federally Legal

United States: Ninth Circuit Holds Delta-8 THC Products Are Federally Legal

25 May 2022 by Mary Drabnis , Michael Schwegler and Heidi Urness McGlinchey Stafford In 1965, Bob Dylan sang in  Subterranean Homesick Blues  that “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”  Thanks to a May 19 decision from the Ninth Circuit, we do not need a weatherman when it comes to the status of trademark and other federal protections for the cannabis industry, especially for hemp-derived products, because we can smell the gusts from the future. On Thursday, May 19, 2022, the Ninth Circuit ruled that products that contain the hemp-derived cannabinoid known as delta-8 THC are completely legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, and are also entitled to legal protections under federal law, including copyright and trademark protection. This decision both provides clarity to hemp-industry members and empowers individuals and companies interested in exploring the innovation and business opportunities surrounding hemp derivatives, including the hundreds of cannabinoids contained within the cannabis plant (of which delta-8 THC is only one). The  AK Futures  Decision The Ninth Circuit arrived at this decision while reviewing a lawsuit filed by AK Futures, a vape manufacturer, which sought to prohibit another manufacturer (Boyd Street Distro) from selling allegedly counterfeit versions of AK’s delta-8 THC cartridges. Boyd Street Distro defended, in part, arguing that they were free to copy AK’s vape cartridges because delta-8 THC is illegal under federal law, and thus AK did not have a valid protectable interest in its intellectual property (IP). The Court rejected this defense, finding that delta-8 THC – a naturally occurring, but easily synthesized, cannabinoid – was deemed federally legal (and, importantly, not a Schedule I substance under the FDA, like delta-9 THC is) under the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (the Farm Bill) passed by Congress. This is because the Farm Bill protects the “derivatives” of the hemp plant. (Hemp is defined as cannabis containing 0.3% or…

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Source : United States: Ninth Circuit Holds Delta-8 THC Products Are Federally Legal

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