Hemp & Cannabinoids

The global market for hemp, CBD, and other cannabinoids is taking off, and everyone involved — from farmers and processors, to distributors and retailers, to researchers and governments — needs experienced counsel to help them navigate the quickly evolving laws and regulations that govern it. Over the past decade, Vicente Sederberg LLP has established itself as an international leader in hemp and cannabinoid law and policy. We have extensive experience with federal, state, and local hemp laws and regulatory programs, advising clients from every sector of the industry and assisting policymakers and regulators domestically and abroad to develop and implement sensible hemp policies.

Learn more: VS State-by-State Hemp & Cannabinoid Compliance Guide

Our attorneys use this experience and institutional knowledge, as well as a cross-disciplinary approach that spans several of our practice areas, to provide clients with the skills and services they need to position themselves for success. Our Economics & Research department can analyze hemp and cannabinoid market dynamics to ensure our clients are making data-driven business and policy decisions, and our Corporate and Intellectual Property attorneys help get deals done and protect our clients' brands, innovations, and trade secrets. We also maintain collaborative relationships with international counsel in Canada, Mexico, and countries within the European Union and South America, allowing our clients to capitalize on opportunities not just throughout the U.S., but around the world.

To ensure our clients receive best-in-class guidance when it comes to navigating the intersection of hemp law with food and beverage law, consumer protection, and related issues, VS has developed strategic relationships with firms that focus on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and agricultural science matters. We are particularly excited to have formed an alliance with Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that concentrates on the regulation of products subject to the jurisdiction of the FDA — food, drugs and biologics, cosmetics, medical devices, dietary supplements, controlled substances, and tobacco products — as well as advertising law and other regulatory law governing consumer products and services. See the "Services" tab below for more details.

Services

  • Assessing state hemp regulatory programs and assisting clients with the navigation of international, federal, state, and local laws

  • Performing thorough diligence of a company’s regulatory status and evaluation of regulatory risks

  • Counseling for all stages of the supply chain and mitigation of risk

  • Helping clients maintain compliance throughout all stages of business, including cultivation, marketing, warehousing, selling, and/or shipping hemp and hemp products (such as hemp-derived cannabinoid oils and isolates, hemp-based foods, supplements, beverages, cosmetics, and other products)

  • State-by-State Hemp & Cannabinoid Compliance Guide

  • Advising clients on compliance with applicable federal regulations including the Farm Bills, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), federal consumer protection laws, and in understanding enforcement policies and positions of federal and state agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the FDA, the FTC, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), state agricultural and health departments, and local boards of health and zoning or code enforcement departments

  • Coordinating with VS’s Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) team on applicable regulations from state and federal agencies, including OSHA and the EPA

  • Training personnel on compliance issues (in-person and virtual), providing audits, checklists, guides, and product label, website and marketing material reviews

  • Management of multi-state hemp retailer registrations

  • Advising on a state-by-state strategy for marketing and advertising in compliance with local jurisdictions and state laws, including compliance checklists, analyzing media risks, e-commerce site review, social media considerations, and FTC disclosure requirements for expert endorsements and influencers

  • Counseling regarding regulatory compliance from hemp seed to biomass sale, including requirements for certified seed, seed handling and commodities dealing, crop insurance, permitted pesticides, hemp biomass testing requirements, and USDA and state hemp plan requirements 

  • Providing advice and support through initial planning and harvest, including checklists and best practices

  • Guidance regarding state or USDA lists of hemp cultivation requirements: (1) pre-planting, (2) compliance throughout the growing season, and (3) harvest 

  • Preparing and/or reviewing of hemp cultivation application 

  • Preparing and/or reviewing of commercial contracts, including biomass sales agreements

  • Facilitating access to an unmatched and large network of businesses, policymakers, investors, special counsel, venture capitalists, and other strategic partners

  • Advising local and state governments and regulatory agencies on the development of hemp laws and regulations

  • Engaging regularly with lawmakers and government agencies to provide comments and feedback on proposed legislation, regulations, and other policy considerations

  • Helping industry groups and individual stakeholders participate impactfully in legislative and rulemaking processes

  • Assisting clients in understanding the complex dynamics of multi-state hemp markets in order to capitalize on price trends and future demand

  • Providing clients with regular legal and industry insights to empower them to make informed and strategic businesses decisions

  • Providing legal guidance regarding banking, insurance, and other service providers

  • Advising on federal, state, local and private grant and loan opportunities

  • Assisting with grant and loan application preparation and review

  • Assisting with commercial contracts, including seed transfer and purpose agreements, production contracts, supply chain agreements, sales contracts, employment agreements, and other hemp-specific contracts

  • Acting as hemp regulatory counsel in corporate transactions

  • Providing due diligence and regulatory support

  • Assisting with basic corporate formation

  • Assisting with IP licensing arrangements

  • Providing full-service corporate representation

  • Regulatory review for compliance with the FDA and FD&C Act packaging and labeling requirements

  • Regulatory review of advertising and marketing claims on product packaging and labeling for compliance with the FTC Act

  • Advisement and guidance relating to developing policies & regulations from the FDA & FTC

  • Advisement regarding FDA and FTC enforcement action

  • Navigating the complex federal and state regulations applicable to researching, manufacturing, storing, importing, exporting, and marketing of controlled substances

  • Complying with the FDA’s ever-evolving and technical requirements for developing, researching, manufacturing, obtaining regulatory approvals and clearances for, and marketing novel and emerging therapeutic products

  • Issues presented by developing professional licensure and scope-of-practice requirements applicable to researchers and healthcare providers working with novel and emerging therapeutic products

  • Assistance with New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) compliance, including the notification process for NDIs, as required by the FD&C Act

  • Providing direction on the regulatory framework for food ingredients, including food additives, and Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) substances

  • Advising on preparing GRAS Notifications and procedures for reaching “self-GRAS” determinations

News

Lessons Learned from the Regulation of CBD Products in the United Kingdom

By Shawn Hauser, Catie Wightman, Ariane Beckman
Sep 20, 2022

Like the US, regulators in the UK are struggling to find ways to best regulate CBD and other hemp-derived products—frustrating hemp businesses across the globe. Read this VS Insights article to learn how the UK is currently regulating CBD and key findings and recommendations from the ACMD's Consumer CBD Products Report.

Is CBD Safe? Health Canada Report Weighs In

By Ariane Beckman, David Kramer
Aug 23, 2022

Health Canada recently released a report titled, “Review of cannabidiol: Report of the Science Advisory Committee on Health Products Containing Cannabis.” Learn about the findings in this VS Insights article.

Vicente Sederberg Contributes to APPG for CBD Products' Business Plan to Future-Proof UK Cannabis Industry

Jul 28, 2022

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for CBD Products recently delivered "A Plan for a Legal and Regulated UK Hemp and Cannabis Sector" to the UK Government. Shawn Hauser and Andrew Livingston contributed to the business plan, which offers an industry analysis and series of recommendations to create a well-regulated, multi-faceted and competitive UK cannabis industry.

Hemp States to Watch 2022: Louisiana

By Andrea Golan and Ariane Beckman
Jul 25, 2022

Continuing to keep a close eye on key states to watch in 2022, this article focuses on recent hemp- and cannabinoid-related legislation in Louisiana: Act No. 498. To create a thriving hemp market in Louisiana, we believe legislators should clarify the Act’s language before the deadline.

FDA Enforcement Action Targeted at Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Products

By Michelle Bodian, Shawn Hauser, Catie Wightman
May 5, 2022

For the first time ever, the FDA issued warning letters to companies selling products containing hemp-derived Delta-8 THC. Notably, this is the first time the FDA has specifically enforced against Delta-8 products. Read this for key takeaways from these warning letters.

[Webinar] Minor Cannabinoids & Trending Topics in Hemp

Apr 1, 2022

Watch this session exploring trending topics in hemp. During the session, members of our hemp team dive into the legality, regulation, and lawsuits surrounding minor cannabinoids, current federal hemp legislation, and what we expect and hope to see in the 2023 Farm Bill.

Hemp States to Watch in 2022: California

By David Kramer
Feb 7, 2022

California is hoping that this will be the year that its hemp industry emerges from the shadows and takes its place among the nation's hemp leaders. Read this article for an outline of what hemp operators should expect from the CDPH and California's hemp program in the coming months.

The Battle to Allow Smokable Hemp in Texas

By Shane Pennington
Sep 13, 2021

Texas has allowed hemp cultivation and state-based manufacturing, distribution, and retail sale of hemp and consumable hemp products since 2019—but only if the products weren’t intended for smoking. This prohibition on a product with such high value for hemp farmers—and soaring consumer demand—was sure to make waves.

New Hemp CBD Laws, Regulations, and Policies: June 2021 Update

By Caitlin Wightman, Michelle Bodian, Jace Pohlman
Jun 15, 2021

Over the first half of 2021, many states passed laws, implemented, or proposed new regulations regarding hemp cultivation, processing, and CBD products. These changes range from updates to testing, labeling, and packaging requirements, to adjustments in license requirements and limits on the types of hemp-derived products that can be sold. 

Cannabis Entrepreneurship Academy

May 4, 2021

Colorado Law Executive Education and CU Leeds School of Business are offering an online Cannabis Entrepreneurship Academy on Fridays during June 2021. The academy will tackle many cannabis business issues, including leadership, financing, regulations, markets, and more!

5 Things You Need to Know Before Entering the Cannabis Industry

By Brian Vicente
Apr 19, 2021

The cannabis industry is complex. Prospective cannabis business owners and other service providers interested in working with cannabis businesses are wise to take a step back and assess what it really takes to not only enter the cannabis industry, but to succeed in it.

Epidiolex Was Removed from the CSA. Now What?

By Corey Cox
May 28, 2020

The CBD-based medicine, Epidiolex, was descheduled by the DEA and is no longer a controlled substance. What are the implications of this change and what, if anything, does it mean for CBD products in general?

What’s Next for Texas Hemp?

By Shawn Hauser
May 19, 2020

With its incredible farming communities, over 100 million acres of farmland, and large manufacturing and research infrastructure, Texas is poised to play a significant role in the U.S. hemp industry.

Florida is Ready for the Hemp Industry

By Sally Kent Peebles, Caitlin Wightman
Apr 30, 2020

The hemp industry has arrived in Florida! After much anticipation, Florida farmers and hemp enthusiasts will finally be able to grow hemp right here in the Sunshine State.

[Webinar] Hemp Game Changers

Apr 17, 2020

This virtual session, originally planned for SXSW 2020, features representatives from Vicente Sederberg, Canopy Growth Corporation, and Willie's Remedy discussing the future of the industry, its challenges, the environment, and more.

Getting to the Root of the Problem: The 0.3% THC Hemp Standard

By Shawn Hauser, Partner
Feb 27, 2020

The beginning of federally regulated hemp has been marred by industry-wide concerns about an overly restrictive federal program, and what may come from the USDA review of more than 4,600 comments to its interim final rule governing U.S. hemp production.

New Law Regulates Hemp and Hemp Extracts in New York

By Jennifer Cabrera, Counsel; David Kramer, Senior Associate; Michelle Bodian, Senior Associate
Dec 19, 2019

A summary of New York's newly signed hemp law, one of the most comprehensive state laws regulating the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of hemp and hemp extracts.

Can Hemp Companies Declare Bankruptcy?

By Charles S. Alovisetti, Partner; Phil Silverman, Counsel; Jason Adelstone, Law Clerk
Sep 27, 2019

One of the many issues arising out of the tension between state and federal law in the cannabis industry is whether cannabis companies can access the protections of federal bankruptcy law.

How to Sell Hemp Food Products Without Breaking the Law

By Charles S. Alovisetti, Partner
Sep 19, 2019

Despite news headlines saying that hemp is federally legal, many hemp-derived food products and supplements currently sold in the US are in violation of federal law. But some hemp food products can actually be sold in complete compliance with US Federal law. How so?

Reflections on the 2018 Farm Bill

By Michelle Bodian, Senior Associate Attorney and Caitlin Wightman, Law Clerk
Jul 17, 2019

Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill on December 20, 2018, much has changed in the world of hemp. Here's a recap of major hemp-related developments.

Congress Approves Farm Bill With Provision to Legalize Hemp Farming Under Federal Law

Dec 13, 2018

The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval Wednesday (368-47) to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, known as the farm bill, which includes historic provisions that explicitly legalize the production of hemp and establish a regulatory framework for the U.S. hemp industry. The legislation, which was approved by the Senate yesterday (87-13), is now headed to President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law before the end of the week.

In the Media

Memberships & Partnerships

American Herbal Products Association
California Hemp Council
Colorado Hemp Association
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Friends of Hemp
Hemp Industries Association
Hemp Legal Defense Fund
International Cannabis Bar Association
National Hemp Association
US Hemp Building Association
Vote Hemp