Federal Court in New Jersey Rules on Reasonable Accommodation of Medical Marijuana

Many employers have longstanding zero tolerance drug use policies. With the growing number of states passing laws that decriminalize medical and/or recreational marijuana use, the application of these policies become murky. In the realm of medical marijuana, there is a growing body of case law interpreting whether or not employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees that a hold a valid medical marijuana certification. A federal court in New Jersey recently ruled on a case that involved a forklift operator who was injured at work…
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FDA’s Opinion: CBD You in April…Maybe.

On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, testified before Congress. He testified that the agency planned a public meeting in April to begin a rule making procedure on CBD. The goal is to create “an appropriately efficient and predictable regulatory framework for regulating CBD products,” he said. This is good news for those in the hemp and cannabis market. Unfortunately, the statement also means that CBD infused products are still illegal in the U.S. Dr. Gottlieb’s testimony is further evidence of the…
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Florida Seeks to End Ban on Smoking Medical Marijuana

On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, the Florida House’s Health and Human Services Committee considered a new bill that would allow medical marijuana patients to receive their prescription in smokable form.  The Committee voted in favor of the bill, with only two votes in opposition, and it will now head to the appropriations committee as it moves closer to a vote. After Florida voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, then Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law while putting into place a ban on…
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California Federal Court Permits Class Action Pet Food Lawsuit to Go Forward

A California Federal Court recently denied a motion filed by a pet food manufacturer (Defendant) to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit centered around the alleged presence of heavy metals within the defendant’s pet food. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant made actionable false, misleading, or otherwise deceptive statements regarding the nature and qualify of their pet food. The defendant is facing similar lawsuits in other jurisdictions, which focus on the presence of heavy metals within these pet food products. In these other lawsuits, cases…
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Medical Cannabis and the Potential for Criminal Charges

This past Monday, February 4, 2019, a medical cannabis patient in Utah plead guilty to a Class B misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance. The patient had a quantity of CBD oil in his trunk. He used that oil as medicine to treat epilepsy. However, the patient purchased the oil in Oregon and it contained small amounts of THC, though not an intoxicating amount. Oregon allows its CBD oil to contain small amounts of THC. Utah does not allow the presence of THC in…
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Hydroponic Operations Fight for Organic Certification Amidst Disapproval from Traditionalists

Hydroponic agriculture is a cutting edge method of growing plants and produce in nutrients which have been dissolved into flowing water. Hydroponic operations have historically fought an uphill battle in their quest to achieve organic certification. In most other developed nations, hydroponic crops cannot be certified as organic, as they are not grown in soil. Between 2001 and 2010, this issue was repeatedly raised to the National Organic Standards Board, which continually held that soil-less systems were inconsistent with organic status, even if they use…
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Litigation is the Pits – Claim Dismissed for Injuries Caused by Natural Food Substance

“A lady bit down on a pit in an olive …” may sound like the opening line to a bad joke, but the defendant she sued for her injuries appears to have had the last laugh. The plaintiff filed a personal injury claim against the defendant in California state court for products liability and pursued theories of strict liability, negligence and breach of an express written warranty.  This claims arises from plaintiff’s purchase of several cans of “Lindsay’s Large Pitted Olives” that she planned to…
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FDA Resumes Inspections of Certain Foods during Government Shut Down

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced this week that he was requesting furloughed federal employees to return to work and resume inspections of certain high-risk foods. Typically, the FDA conducts about 160 food inspections per week. Inspections have been halted since the federal government shut down and 40% of the FDA’s workforce was put on furlough. Dr. Gottlieb stated that he hoped that several hundred workers would return without pay to resume inspections of foods such as soft cheeses, seafood, some fruits and vegetables, baby…
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Crisis in Construction: Increased Risk of Opioid Abuse in the Construction Industry

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The construction industry, in particular, has been disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic. According to North America’s Building Trades Union, the overdose rate for workers in the construction industry is seven times that of the general population. But why? The work is physically intensive and the risk of suffering a work-related injury is higher than the national average in other occupations. Laborers tend to…
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Crossing (State) Lines

Since 2014, New York has made medical cannabis available to individuals suffering from a variety of conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.  However, in order to obtain medical cannabis, a patient must be certified by a medical professional licensed in New York.  Now, two states have decided that open lines of communication (and sales) should be allowed.  On January 2, 2019, the Arkansas Department of Health announced it planned on issuing registry identification cards by February, following a meeting by the Medical Marijuana Commission where…
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