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Judicial Trends in Public HealthSource and Scope of Public Health Legal Powers

Northern Virginia Hemp and Agriculture LLC v. Virginia


(U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Va., October 30, 2023) A federal district court in Virginia refused to issue a pre-trial injunction preventing enforcement of the Commonwealth’s law regulating hemp products that contain Delta-8 THC or other hemp-derived intoxicating variants. Hemp sellers argued that the 2018 Farm Bill passed by Congress deregulated most hemp products, thereby preempting states from imposing restrictions on products formerly banned under federal law. The Court rejected the argument, finding that nothing in the 2018 Farm Bill indicated explicitly or through implication that by deregulating hemp products, the federal government was protecting those products from state regulation. The hemp sellers also argued that the Commonwealth’s law impermissibly interferes with interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause. This claim was likewise rejected. This decision conflicts with a federal district court decision in Arkansas and with a Maryland state court decision. Although the West Virginia hemp sellers may proceed to trial, the Court found the plaintiffs unlikely to prevail  Read the full Opinion here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – November 20, 2023.

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