AK Futures v. Boyd Street Distro (9th Cir. May 2022)

The Federal Docket

June 1, 2022

In a trademark dispute involving hemp-derived products, the Ninth Circuit held that delta-8-THC (and other similar substances) are not controlled substances when derived from hemp and when the end product contains less than 0.3% of delta-9-THC. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabis plants and cannabis extracts containing less than 0.3% delta-9-THC (the chemical that gets people high) are considered “hemp” and thus excluded from the Controlled Substances Act.

The Court held that the plain language of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp, all hemp cannabinoids, extracts, and derivates, as long as it has less than 0.3% delta-9-THC. The Court further noted that, to the extent the DEA disagreed with that assessment, deference to the agency wasn’t warranted where the plain language clearly legalized these products.

On appeal from the Central District of California
Opinion by Fisher, joined by Kleinfeld and Bennett

Click here to read the opinion.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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