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Marc E. Sorini concentrates on issues facing the alcohol beverage industry, with a particular focus on the supplier tier and non-beverage alcohol users. He heads the Firm's Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in his field. Read Marc Sorini's full bio.
By Daniel P. McGuire and Marc Sorini on Jun 4, 2019
Posted In Distribution, Transactions
I. Introduction On May 23, the Mississippi Supreme Court published its opinion in the case of Rex Distributing Company v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, et al. The ruling partially reverses the trial court’s decision to dismiss all of Rex’s claims against Anheuser-Busch and rival distributor Mitchell Distributing Company (Mitchell). The ruling will allow Rex Distributing Company (Rex)...
By MaryKathryn Hurd and Marc Sorini on Jun 3, 2019
Posted In Cannabis, Food Safety and FDA
On May 28, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a legal opinion to address questions raised by several hemp-related provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2018, better known as the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA opinion clarifies four areas of the 2018 Farm Bill: the removal of hemp as a controlled substance...
By Arthur J. DeCelle and Marc Sorini on May 29, 2019
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Alcohol Excise Taxes, Distribution, Food Safety and FDA, General Interest, Import/Export, Legislation, Trade Practices, TTB COLAs and Formulas
For those who follow developments in the law and craft brewing with equal passion, every year has its share of substantial issues. This year has been no exception, with a pending Supreme Court case; a substantial upswing in federal trade practice enforcement activity; a massive rewrite of US Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) labeling and...
By Marc Sorini on May 28, 2019
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Alcohol Excise Taxes, General Interest, Legislation, Trade Practices, TTB COLAs and Formulas
The spring edition of the federal government’s semi-annual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Regulatory Agenda) has been published. Like other federal agencies, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) uses the Regulatory Agenda to report on its current rulemaking projects. The Regulatory Agenda provides glimpses into TTB’s policy focus and...
By Daniel P. McGuire and Marc Sorini on May 20, 2019
Posted In Distribution
On May 7, 2019, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VABC) published a decision confirming the enforceability of arbitration clauses in distribution agreements between brewers and beer distributors under Virginia’s Beer Franchise Act (BFA). In Loveland Distributing Co., Inc. and Premium of Virginia, LLC v. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., the VABC panel ruled unanimously in...
By Marc Sorini on Apr 29, 2019
Posted In Cannabis, Food Safety and FDA
On April 25, 2019, TTB published Industry Circular 2019-1. It addresses the hot topic of alcohol beverages (especially beer) infused with hemp-derived ingredients–with cannabidiol (CBD) as the clear focus of industry interest. While hardly surprising, the Industry Circular takes or reiterates the following positions: TTB will require a formula for any product containing a hemp-derived...
By Marc Sorini on Apr 9, 2019
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, Cannabis, Food Safety and FDA, General Interest
Last week the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) made public three new warning letters to Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp oil product companies sent by FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). FDA has previously targeted cannabis product companies. The new warning letters are consistent with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s recent statements that the FDA will...
By Christopher M. Lahiff and Marc Sorini on Apr 5, 2019
Posted In Food Safety and FDA
The FDA recently issued Guidance announcing its decision to exercise enforcement discretion with regard to the Produce Safety Rule for entities growing, harvesting, packing or holding hops and wine grapes, as well as almonds and pulse crops (dry, edible seeds in the legume family harvested solely in dried form). More specifically, while the FDA considers...
By Gugan Kaur and Marc Sorini on Apr 4, 2019
Posted In Advertising and Marketing, General Interest, TTB COLAs and Formulas
On March 18, 2019, the Washington Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s decision that three advertising campaigns for 5-Hour Energy® made by Living Essentials, LLP and Innovative Ventures, LLP (collectively, Living Essentials) violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA) by making deceptive advertising claims. Living Essentials makes and markets the energy drink 5-Hour Energy®....
By George Tzanetakos and Marc Sorini on Apr 3, 2019
Posted In Cannabis
On May 31, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public hearing on cannabis products. The hearing seeks to obtain scientific data on cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, along with additional information regarding health and safety risks, manufacturing and product quality, marketing, labeling and the sale of such products. The FDA’s notice announcing...