Hemp CBD: Even Without FDA Regulations, Class Action Suits May Go Forward

A couple of months ago we reported on a decision in the Southern District of Florida in which the court stayed a putative class action lawsuit against a seller of cannabidiol (CBD) products until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completes rulemaking regarding the marketing, including labeling, of hemp-derived ingestible products. The case is Snyder v. Green Roads of Florida, 0:19-cv-62342-UU.

When a lawsuit is “stayed”, litigation is halted or postponed, sometimes indefinitely. Reviewing the Synder outcome, we wrote: “So does the Snyder decision mean that companies selling CBD products may forge ahead and worry about the consequences later? The answer is a resounding ‘no’ for three reasons.” The first reason we gave was that the Snyder decision is not binding precedent on other federal courts, so “no other federal district court or state court is required to reach the same result in a similar case.”

This explanation bore fruit when on March 30, 2020, a different judge in the Southern District of Florida reached the opposite result as the judge in Snyder.  In that case, Potter v. Potnetwork Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-24017-Civ-Scola, Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. denied a motion to stay a putative class action brought by

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