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Class Action ‘Avalanche’ Coming For CBD Industry 


The CBD industry is relatively new and many of the health effects of CBD products are yet unknown. The companies that sell these products face a coming wave of lawsuits from people who have purchased CBD products. Some of these lawsuits have alleged mislabeling the amount of active ingredients in the CDB, and others have filed lawsuits against CBD makers for unexpectedly failing drug tests.

Some CBD products have been tested in the laboratory after they have been purchased. These lab tests have reached different results than what is listed on the products’ labels. The CBD products list on their labels the amount of CBD that is purportedly contained. Some of the CBD products contain only a fraction of the CBD that is advertised. In the case of CBD products made by Just Brands USA, lawsuits against the maker claim that the product contains no CBD whatsoever. The practice of overstating the amount of CBD in a product appears to widespread across the industry, opening nearly all CBD makers to possible lawsuits in the future. There is a perception that the lawsuits are just at the beginning and the handful of lawsuits that have been filed are the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

These lawsuits are consistent with what the FDA has found when it tested certain CBD products. The FDA has taken it upon itself to test these products even though they are not approved for use by the regulator. The agency has issued a number of warning letters to CBD makers. In general, the FDA has been cracking down on companies that have made false marketing claims when selling CBD products. Unfortunately, there have been numerous manufacturers that have resorted to less than scrupulous practices in selling their products.

Making unproven claims about CDB

CBD makers have been marketing their products making various unsubstantiated claims such as that their products can treat cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA has held public hearings on this issue and has formed a high-level working group to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring that these products are marketed legally. The increase in CBD sales is a relatively new phenomenon so the agency is progressively learning more about the industry and its regulatory function. At this point, the FDA has generally issued warning letters to offending companies and has given them 15 days to correct the violations. The agency has informed these companies that it will take legal action if the violations are not corrected.

It is the lack of regulation in the industry that opens up CBD companies to significant litigation risk. Without as many rules and standards to follow, companies end up making many more unsubstantiated claims, and there is more of an “anything goes” attitude when it comes to selling these products. A 2018 law permitted CBD products that contained hemp and now the new industry is growing quickly. However, this is a new industry in which aggressive upstarts are doing whatever they can to gain market position resulting in market place being flooded with unproven claims about the benefits of CBD. Also customers have found that they have not received the CBD they paid for.

Shortchanging the public

One particular lawsuit was filed against the maker of Hemp Bomb products. The lawsuit took issue with the claims that the manufacturer made on the label of the products about the potency of these CBD offerings. Consumers pay more money for stronger CBD offerings that are expressed by the number of milligrams of CBD in each dose. Here, the Hemp Bomb products were sold as “high potency.” However, the plaintiff’s testing of the content of CBD allegedly showed results that were well below what was advertised.

The lawsuit cited a 2017 study that found that only about one-third of CBD products actually contained the amount of CBD that was listed on the label. Some instances actually involve under labeling the amount of CBD in the product. When customers receive strong doses that are unanticipated, they also may not receive the health benefits for which they purchased the products. The medical effect of a stronger dose of CBD is not yet fully known. At some point, the health impacts of CBD will become more fully known as this industry matures.

Another cause of action that will be in some class action lawsuits is a different manner of mislabeling CBD products. One man failed a drug test because the CBD products that he consumed was marketed as containing no THC. This is an active ingredient in marijuana that will cause one to fail a drug test. The man was given an employment-related drug test which he failed. He was then fired from his job as a result of the positive drug test. He filed a lawsuit as the class representative for those who also suffered because they ingested THC unwittingly.

Given the infancy of this industry, it is essential that you consult with an attorney if you suspect that you have had any issues from CBD products that you purchased. This holds true whether it is a consumer issue or a possible health effect of the product that you have ingested. Since there are no real regulations as of now, a lawyer can advise you of your legal options if you have any CBD product issues.  Contact The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates for free evaluation of your case.



Principal & Founder
This article was written by Mark Sadaka, a seasoned trial lawyer in nationally significant cases. He fearlessly champions clients impacted by fatal or severe injuries caused by others or corporations. Renowned for his expertise in complex litigation, he's featured in books, sought after by media for interviews, and a highly sought speaker. Notably, he exclusively represents individuals facing life-changing injuries or substantial financial losses.

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