Date: March 14, 2024Attorney: Joshua S. Bauchner and Christopher T. Zona

In the ever-evolving landscape of hemp regulation, a significant legal challenge is unfolding in New York, spearheaded by Joshua Bauchner, Chair of the Cannabis, Hemp, and Psychedelics practice group, and Chris Zona, partner in litigation and white-collar criminal defense at Mandelbaum Barrett PC. This case is not just about the legalities surrounding hemp; it’s a fight for the rights of small businesses, the integrity of legal processes, and the clarity of regulatory frameworks.

Joshua Bauchner represents plaintiffs caught in the crosshairs of sudden regulatory changes that have thrust their once-legal hemp businesses into a state of legal limbo. With a deep understanding of the nuances of cannabis, hemp, and psychedelic law, Bauchner’s advocacy underscores the complexities facing industries at the frontier of legal and societal acceptance.

The heart of this lawsuit lies in the abrupt amendment of THC concentration regulations by New York State, effectively criminalizing a range of hemp-derived products overnight. This move, challenged by Bauchner and his team, is argued to lack a scientific basis and procedural fairness, raising questions about the motivations and methods behind such regulatory shifts.

By filing a civil rights complaint, the legal team at Mandelbaum Barrett PC is not just challenging these regulations but also defending the constitutional rights of their clients. The lawsuit points to violations of the Fifth Amendment, regarding the unlawful seizure of property without due process, and the Fourth Amendment, in relation to warrantless searches and seizures. These constitutional claims are at the core of the legal battle, highlighting the broader implications for civil liberties in the face of regulatory changes.

This legal challenge also shines a light on the impact of such regulations on small, often family-owned businesses that form the backbone of the hemp industry. These businesses, fully compliant with both federal and state laws until the recent regulatory changes, now face existential threats due to what is perceived as governmental overreach. The case underscores the precarious position of emerging industries navigating the complex web of state and federal regulations.

As Mandelbaum Barrett PC takes on this critical case, the legal community and industry stakeholders are keenly watching. The outcome will not only affect the plaintiffs and the hemp industry in New York but also set precedents for how emerging industries are regulated, how businesses can be protected from abrupt legal changes, and how the balance between state authority and federal law is navigated in practice.

This lawsuit is a testament to the role of legal advocacy in protecting businesses, upholding constitutional rights, and challenging the boundaries of regulatory overreach.