FDA Issues New Produce Handling Guidelines for Farmers and Food Processors

Two new draft guidance documents were released this week with the aim of helping US farmers and food producers comply with rules for the safe handling of produce. The guidance document for farmers, entitled ” Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Guidance for Industry,” provides farmers with examples and approaches for complying with the Produce Safety Rule.  The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables…
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Medical Marijuana and Guns Don’t Mix in Maryland

When Maryland legalized medical marijuana, individuals suffering from a variety of medical problems gained access to a drug that can provide relief to them without many of the problems posed by more addictive opioids. However, now the state government has informed Maryland residents that if you are legally using medical marijuana to treat a condition, you can no longer own a gun. There have been efforts introduced to allow Maryland residents who are legally allowed to use medical marijuana to possess firearms, but to date…
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FDA Alert Concerning Consumption of Certain Food Products Infused with Liquid Nitrogen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued an advisory about the potential harmful effects of a new food trend – the consumption of food and/or beverages infused with liquid nitrogen when the infusion is performed at the point of sale.  According to the FDA, examples include infused solid food products, such as cheese puffs, and beverages.  The infused products emit a smoke-like vapor or fog effect.   The liquid nitrogen is infused just before they are served and are often available at food…
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U.S. Federal Government Continues to Potentially Prevent Entry of Canadian Citizens

A few posts back, we discussed the ongoing tension between the United States Federal Government and Canada regarding Canadian citizens entering the United States if they were somehow connected to the cannabis industry.  On October 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, released a statement updating their earlier stance regarding the entry of Canadian citizens connected to the cannabis industry. At first blush, it seems a normal press release – drug addicts and convicted felons are barred…
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Seven Deadly(?) Substances: FDA Removes Seven Food Additives from Approved List Due to Cancer Risk

The FDA has revised its food additive regulations to block the use of seven synthetic flavoring substances in food products that may increase cancer risk in humans. Evidence submitted to the FDA by the Breast Cancer Fund, the Center for Environmental Health, the Center for Food Safety, and others, demonstrated that six of the synthetic substances caused cancer in lab animals under study conditions. The seventh flavor, styrene,  is being removed from the food additive list because it is no longer widely used by the…
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Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC Update

For the last year or so, healthcare worker Katelin Noffsinger has been proceeding forward with a case against a former potential employer regarding her use of medical marijuana to deal with the effects of a car accident. As many know, Ms. Noffsinger informed her potential employer of this use ahead of a company mandated drug test. When a drug test came back positive, the nursing home rescinded her job offer anyway. As a result, Ms. Noffsinger brought an employment discrimination suit against SSC Niantic Operating…
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What Do We Know About Plant-Based Products & Dairy Foods – FDA Wants to Know

The FDA notes an emergence and expansion of plant-based products that are labeled in a manner that includes the names of dairy foods such as “milk” (i.e. “soy milk” and “almond milk”); “cultured milk” (i.e. “coconut kefir”); “yogurt” (i.e. “soy yogurt” and “almond yogurt”); and “cheese” (i.e. “vegan mozzarella cheese”).  You will often find these types of products located near or along with their dairy counterparts and in similar packaging.  However, the FDA notes these plant-based products may not have the same basic and essential…
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Daily Changes Across the Cannabis Legal Landscape

At this point, it should be no surprise to anyone that on a daily basis, the legal landscape of Cannabis law changes.  Zoning issues, licensing and potential medical conditions that can utilize cannabis for treatment are just some of the areas that face consistent legal scrutiny.  Below are just a few examples of some of the changes that have occurred in various states within the past two DAYS. In Richmond, Maine, voters at a special town meeting on September 24th decided against imposing a…
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Update on Medical Cannabis for Veterans

As we recently noted in our last blog post, Senators Nelson and Schatz from Florida and Hawaii introduced The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act.  The legislation provided our military veterans access to medical cannabis if they were found to be suffering from chronic pain, PTSD and other serious medical conditions, as well as funding clinical trial research within the Department of Veterans Affairs. As quickly as it was introduced and actually approved in the Senate by a vote of 85-9, it was also quickly…
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Medical Cannabis for Veterans? We May be Closer Than You Think

Under current law, Department of Veterans Affairs physicians are not permitted to recommend the use of medical cannabis to veterans, even within the 31 states that have passed regulations allowing its use. However, two senators have just filed legislation seeking to change this stance. On September 5, 2018, Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) filed legislation that would legalize medical cannabis use for military veterans and allow physicians employed by the federal government assist the veterans in obtaining the drug. The bill, titled…
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