The Final Rule: The USDA’s Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program

On January 19, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put forth a final rule to concretely establish a domestic hemp production program. This final rule becomes effective on March 22, 2021, and puts forth structured rules, regulations, and guidelines regarding the production of hemp nationwide. The USDA’s final rule is a provisional response to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), which permitted states and tribal nations to participate in hemp production programs and removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s (CSA) definition of marijuana. Until the issuance of this final ruling, the USDA had previously only released an interim final rule, which was open to public comments and suggested revisions. Below, we break down the distinguishing and notable provisions the USDA incorporated into this new framework.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCThe Final Rule: The USDA’s Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program
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What the 2020 Election Results Mean for Marijuana in 2021

The 2020 elections proved that the nation may be as divided as it has ever been politically. However, based on the election results, Americans seem to be trending towards quite a  favorable outlook on cannabis legalization. This sentiment has changed over the years, as recreational marijuana was illegal in all 50 states less than just a decade ago. But what are the recent changes and results of the 2020 elections regarding marijuana legislation? And what does this mean for the cannabis industry as a whole? 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWhat the 2020 Election Results Mean for Marijuana in 2021
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Construction Lien Claims and the Coronavirus

As the economy continues to recover from the global coronavirus pandemic, property managers and contractors must find ways to ensure they fulfill their contracts and receive payment for their work. While contractors may once have been paid easily and on time after a project, current financial situations complicate payments for construction workers. Construction lien claims are legal tools used to ensure contractors and subcontractors are properly compensated for the work they complete on a project, but the complexity of the Covid-19 pandemic makes this more difficult. Read below to learn more and discover how the Dallas law firm Ritter Spencer helps individuals or businesses file a construction lien claim.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCConstruction Lien Claims and the Coronavirus
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Five Businesses to Bounce Back After Filing for Bankruptcy

Many businesses fall victim to a combination of factors that lead to the necessary decision to file for bankruptcy. However, doing so does not necessarily mean the business completely fails. In certain instances, and with the right attorneys from the Dallas law firm of Ritter Spencer PLLC, a company may emerge from bankruptcy with a stronger and clearer path to lucrative and lasting success. Specifically, filing for bankruptcy allows a business to reorganize its affairs, debts, and assets to reallocate and restructure the company to make it possible for a business to bounce back. Below we’ve outlined some of the most notable businesses to bounce back from bankruptcy and continue to see success today. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCFive Businesses to Bounce Back After Filing for Bankruptcy
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Predictions For the CBD Market in 2021

After an unprecedented year politically, socially, and economically, cannabidiol (“CBD”) continues to significantly impact the United States’ retail markets and even the health sector. This highly sought after cannabinoid is becoming increasingly common in various forms, including tinctures, topical applications, oils, capsules, and more. But what is next for CBD in 2021? Below we explain our predictions regarding CBD’s influence in the coming year. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCPredictions For the CBD Market in 2021
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How to Open a Dispensary in Texas

Although Texas has a medical marijuana program, as established by the Texas Compassionate Use Act in 2015, only three “Dispensing Organizations” have been granted licenses by the Texas Department of Safety (“DPS”) to cultivate, process, and dispense low-THC cannabis (up to a 0.5 percent THC limit as of the date of this blog) in Texas to prescribed patients. See 37 Tex. Admin. Code § 12.1. Texas is a vertically integrated state, meaning that the Dispensing Organization must cultivate, process, package, and dispense the medical marijuana.


Ritter Spencer, PLLCHow to Open a Dispensary in Texas
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Understanding Texas’s Compassionate-Use Program

In 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act, Senate Bill 339, was enacted, requiring the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) to create a secure registry for qualified physicians to treat patients suffering from a limited list of medical conditions, such as ALS and intractable epilepsy, with low-THC cannabis. In 2019, the Texas Legislature expanded the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”) via House Bill 3703 to include additional medical conditions, e.g., incurable neurodegenerative diseases, and physician specialties in which low-THC cannabis can be prescribed. Moreover, the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (“CURT”) has been updated in accordance with the expanded TCUP to allow for a simpler process for physicians to register and prescribe low-THC cannabis to their patients. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCUnderstanding Texas’s Compassionate-Use Program
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The Smokable Hemp Ban in Texas is Enjoined Until 2021

In June of 2019, the state of Texas passed HB 1325, which, in part, authorizes and directs the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) to enact rules regarding the processing and manufacturing of smokable hemp products. See Tex. Health & Safety Code § 443.204(4). In August of 2020, DSHS banned the processing, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sale of smokable hemp products throughout the state of Texas. See Tex. Admin. Code § 300.104. With its excessive regulations, DSHS essentially stifled the smokable hemp market in Texas, forcing existing companies, such as Crown Distributing LLC (“Crown”), to move their businesses out of state.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCThe Smokable Hemp Ban in Texas is Enjoined Until 2021
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Will CBD Be Classified as a Dietary Supplement?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) currently prohibits cannabidiol (“CBD”) from being added to food, beverages, or cosmetics and from being sold as a dietary supplement. While we await further guidelines from the FDA, Congressmen Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Morgan Griffith of Virginia introduced on September 4, 2020, H.R. 8179, the “Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020”, which would allow hemp, CBD, and any other hemp-derived ingredient to be sold as dietary ingredients in dietary supplements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “FD&C Act”).  

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWill CBD Be Classified as a Dietary Supplement?
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The Growing Market of Smokable Hemp and Its Legal Obstacles

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”) established that hemp is to be treated similarly to other legal agricultural commodities and traded in standard interstate commerce as a raw material. However, the 2018 Farm Bill governs only state production programs and specifically permits states to enact more stringent regulations than those contained in the Bill. As a result, legal hemp has facilitated the emergence of a wide array of consumer products and uses. Specifically, smokable hemp has made a significant presence in the cannabis and hemp markets and continues to grow despite the increasing legality of other forms of cannabis that often include higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”). Below, we discuss the smokable hemp industry and the legal challenges it faces as it comes to fruition. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCThe Growing Market of Smokable Hemp and Its Legal Obstacles
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