Libation Law Blog

Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Regulatory and Legal Updates

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MillerCoors has appealed the trial court’s May 24, injunction granting it partial relief on the beer advertising suit surrounding the Super Bowl and related advertising Anheuser-Busch has pursued in the game’s wake. You can read that trial court opinion here. In short, the injunction granted partial relief to MillerCoors and instructed Anheuser to top using the following statements in advertising, including social media: Bud Light contains “100% less corn syrup”; Bud Light in direct reference to “no corn syrup” without any reference to “brewed with,” “made with” or “uses”; Miller Lite and/or Coors Light and “corn syrup” without including…
Pursuant to Section 5-10 of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is the licensing authority for cultivation centers, craft growers, infuser organizations and transporting organizations and agents. The addition of a category of licensees known as infuser organizations is a welcome boon to innovation and access allowing entities to manufacture and produce cannabis-infused products without the burden of growing cannabis. We wanted to take the time to highlight some requirements and interesting points related to the infuser license. Under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, the simple definition of an infuser organization…
The TTB is currently requesting public comments on a proposed rulemaking to eliminate the strict standards of fill requirements in place for wine and distilled spirits. The Notices of proposed rulemaking 183 (distilled spirits) and 182 (wine) detail a beverage container history with a trend towards a need and desire for greater variety in packaging options. By way of background, the standards of fill for wine and distilled spirits specify exacting measurements for sizing which originally came about before mandates to state the content volume on containers. Before a requirement that labels display the net content information, consumer deception was…
For the record, we predicted this outcome. Furthermore, it has the benefit of correctness and consistency with the bedrock freedom of expression principles undergirding the democracy. Two years ago, the Matal v. Tam decision began a slow but steady pace towards invalidating sections of the Lanham Act that allowed the USPTO to sit in judgment of the propriety of offensive and disparaging words utilized as trademarks. Rather than accept the decision in the spirit in which it was intended – practitioners and the USPTO apparently thought it correct to limit their understanding of the Tam holding to the “disparage”…
Obviously, more on the implications and opinoin later, but for now, enjoy! Tennessee-Wine-and-Spirits-v.-Russell-Blair-Supreme-Court-Opinion The post BREAKING: SCOTUS decides Tennessee v. Blair – invalidates residency requirements OPINION EMBEDDED BELOW – WIN FOR ACCESS AND CHOICE AND … FREEDOM! appeared first on Libation Law Blog.…
The TTB recently announced that COLAs Online will have a new status called “Conditionally Approved.” The effort and new moniker are meant to streamline the finalization process for certificates of label approval for alcoholic beverages. The new status gets invoked where the TTB desires to tell the alcoholic beverage label applicant that the TTB proposes changes to any of four fields to make the application consistent with the content of the proposed label: Brand Name Fanciful Name Appellation (wine only) Grape Varietal (wine only) So, for instance if you presented a label with the grape varietal noted in the field…
This case involves a dispute between a beer wholesaler that wanted to sell its rights to distribute Anheuser’s beer to a chosen buyer. A dispute arose because the beer distributor had a provision in its beer wholesale agreement with the brewer allowing the brewer to assume the right to the sale and appoint a buyer on the same terms (to direct the sale of the beer distributor’s franchise rights). The brewer wanted the beer wholesaler to sell the rights to distribute the beer to a different wholesaler and forced the sale under the beer distribution agreement’s terms.  When that sale…
In Part 2 of this series we discussed early approval of Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses that will be made available to current medical cannabis dispensing organizations under the new Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.   But what about dispensary licenses that aren’t connected to the prior medical facility licenses (everything but the early approval licenses). Under the Act, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is responsible for issuing the new Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses.  The Act requires the IDFPR to issue up to 75 Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses before May 1,…
Our March 25 piece on the Postal Service’s guidance setting out the procedure for USPS’s acceptance of a CBD oil or other lawfully produced hemp derived product is now superseded by a revised Publication 52 containing the new June 6, 2019 Postal Service policy for the Mailability of Cannabis and Hemp-Related Products. The Publication adds Section 453.73 “Hemp-based Products” providing mailing standards for cannabis and industrial-hemp derived products. Whereas the old guidance required the presentation of certified statements the new guidance does away with those requirements mandating simply that the mailer maintain proper records showing compliance with the stated criteria…
Article 30 of the new (soon to be signed) Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act creates a license type for small cultivators and, given the current trend for nomenclature, came to designate these small-scale cultivators as “Craft Growers.” Subject to a 7% state tax on the gross receipts from the Craft Grower’s sale of cannabis, the Craft Grower licensee can cultivate, dry, cure and package cannabis for sale to a dispensary or other processing organization in a facility with up to 5,000 square feet of canopy space (Department of Agriculture can adjust this in increments of 3,000 square  up to 14,000).…
The buzz started last year when the Louisiana Retail Food and Beverage E-Commerce Task Force met to review and consider home delivery of alcoholic beverages. According to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report piece at the time, both Instacart and Drizly appeared to testify about the growing trend in American lifestyle choices – home delivery of stuff people want. Prior to 2019, the Louisiana legislature killed bills for home delivery. But the bill and service found renewed momentum this year and has passed You can read the enrolled text of HB508 here, which has been sent to Louisiana’s Governor…
Section 55-20 of Illinois’s new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act governs advertising and promotions of cannabis related activities. The verb, advertise is broadly defined under Illinois’s new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act as: “Advertise” means to engage in promotional activities including, but not limited to: newspaper, radio, Internet and electronic media, and television advertising; the distribution of fliers and circulars; and the display of window and interior signs. The act regulates the activity in several ways. Starting with barring any person or establishment from engaging in advertising that contains any statement or illustration that: (1) is false or misleading; (2)…
In what is undoubtedly a nod to recent State action and current pending litigation regarding the interstate transportation of Farm Bill compliant hemp, the May 28th US Department of Agriculture general counsel legal opinion provided some valuable guidance relative to the interstate shipment of hemp grown pursuant to the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. In particular the GC’s opinion clarified the USDA stance on the lawful transportation of hemp grown pursuant to the 2014 Farm Bill and laid out its position regarding 2018 Farm Bill compliant hemp for immediate future when the USDA will be releasing regulations for the 2018…
If you haven’t gotten permission to use copy or pictures that you did not create, or have created for you by an employee or a third-party with a proper work for hire agreement, stop, just stop and go get permission or buy the rights or get a license. A good reminder – Vrachovska v. 8 Degrees Plato Beer Company. You can read the complaint in this case here. The plaintiff, a photographer, brought suit against the craft brewery for copyright infringement alleging the brewery’s website used a picture the plaintiff had taken of a statue of Plato sitting…
If you’ve been following our pieces on the growler/crowler bill in Illinois, you’ll be happy to know that the bill just passed and is on its way to Governor Pritzker for signature. You can read the bill and see the legislative history here, showing that it passed today. Big thanks to the good folks over at the Olympic Tavern in Rockford for keeping me posted on this and letting be know the minute it passed! Stop in there when you’re in town.…
It’s official, Illinois just became the latest state to allow for recreational cannabis use. The Illinois House ratified and passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, sending the bill to Governor JB Pritzker for signature. The act becomes effective once it is signed and that starts the clock on several initiatives, including allowing the dispensaries already licensed under Illinois’s medical marijuana act to convert to recreational facilities. Assuming all goes well, cannabis sales in Illinois will begin on January 1, 2020…