Today we’ve got companies in court over hemp derived THC and “natural” CBD and now here in this report Altria are attempting to put other vape companies out of business.
This suggests to us that somebody somewhere thinks that SAFE banking is going to get through and that will make it, in turn, easier to move toward federal regulation for cannabis.
The precis is, the jockeying has started and this should make the legal profession very happy.
Marlboro cigarette maker Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) and one of its electronic cigarette-maker subsidiaries have filed a lawsuit against nearly three dozen competitors that it contends are routinely breaking both state and federal laws, in an attempt to drive the vape companies out of business.
The defendants – which include brand names Breeze, Elf Bar, EB, EB Create, Esco Bar, Flum, Juice Box, Lava Plus, Loon, Lost Mary, Mr. Fog, and Puff Bar according to a press release – have been making and selling vaporizer cartridge technology that has been used primarily in the e-cigarette sector, but some of the companies have also expanded into the cannabis trade.
Altria has also dipped its toes into the cannabis industry, with a large ownership stake in Canadian marijuana firm Cronos Group, as well as membership in the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation (CPEAR), a national U.S. marijuana lobbying and reform group. Altria also has a large ownership stake in e-cigarette maker Juul.
The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in California by Altria subsidiary NJOY LLC, alleges that the 34 defendants have been violating a California flavor ban on vape cartridges that went into effect last year and selling federally illegal products. The suit also alleges that they “illegally compete” against rule-abiding companies such as Altria, according to the release. The suit asserts violations of the Lanham Act and the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009.
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