Oregon Cannabis Investigation Serves As a Reminder About Consumer Product Safety

Oregon Cannabis Investigation Serves As a Reminder About Consumer Product Safety
CANNANNEW REPORT

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is conducting an ongoing investigation into Curaleaf regarding an alleged mislabeling of a nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) product, which actually contained psychoactive delta-9 tetrahydracannabinol (THC). Curaleaf operates 101 retail cannabis dispensaries in 16 states. The OLCC investigation revealed that the alleged mislabeling resulted from an employee’s confusing the CBD bottles with the THC bottles in preparing the Curaleaf cannabis products at issue. The incident caused consumers ingesting those products to have experienced a “high” they did not anticipate, and ultimately led to the recall of approximately 500 bottles of tincture from the Oregon market. At least three of those consumers went to the emergency room due to the high, one consumer was hospitalized and one consumer’s estate brought a claim for wrongful death. The above incident resulted in 13 nearly identical product liability lawsuits filed in Oregon federal court naming Curaleaf as the defendant. Each assert one count for products liability arising out of the allegation that Curaleaf was negligent by making its Select CBD Drops with THC and by not having the required THC warning label. The complaints also allege that Curaleaf failed to warn or properly instruct the plaintiffs about the condition of the Select CBD Drops. One of those lawsuits settled for $50,000, nine have reached confidential settlements and three are still pending. The wrongful death trial is scheduled for May 2023. Cannabis products are being produced and distributed in an increasing number of forms while a growing variety of cannabis-infused foods and beverages are being marketed in growing number of states with legal recreational cannabis. The investigation is a reminder to those in the cannabis product supply chain―such as cultivators, processors, labs and dispensaries―that, due to their human use and consumption, cannabis products, like other consumer goods, must be manufactured…

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