Class action lawsuits against US CBD companies show importance of adhering to regulations

July 11, 2019

Class action lawsuits have been filed against four major CBD companies operating within the USA for not adhering to federal regulations set out for the sale and marketing of CBD products.

JustCBD, HempBombs, YiLo, and Strength of Hope are the companies that are being made an example of for misadvertising or mislabelling their CBD products. This sets a precedent for other countries worldwide, including the UK and Ireland, on what could happen to companies if they don’t ensure product quality and consistency.

CBD and health

This news hits at the same time that the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) in the UK released a report proposing stricter enforcement of regulations for UK CBD producers and retailers. This is to help ensure that consumers are getting the product that they believe they are purchasing, which not only protects the consumer but also the credibility of the CBD industry as a whole.

RELATED: Can CBD help ease migraines? Here’s what the science says

The lawsuits have been filed by renowned US law firm, Bursor & Fisher, and until the details of each individual suit is published, the reasons behind each case is speculative. But independent studies on some US CBD products have yielded less than desirable results.

CBD companies should prepare themselves for scrutiny

The aforementioned lab tests on CBD products have revealed that one company who advertises themselves as “America’s most trusted CBD company” had synthetic cannabinoids present that are also in dangerous designer drug ‘Spice’, known to potentially cause seizures, as well as Dextromethorphan, an ingredient present with cough syrup known for its sedative effects. Both compounds whose presence is completely unnecessary in any CBD product.

Magnifying glass

RELATED ARTICLE: How does the legal status of CBD differ between Europe and North America?

In addition, another CBD distributor in the USA, Dixie Elixirs, had a successful lawsuit filed against it by New York state truck driver, Douglas Horn, who states that he lost his job from a failed, randomised drug test that he thought he would be okay to take due to his product being advertised as 0% THC. Mr Horn stated,

“I was acutely aware that in addition to the prohibition from smoking marijuana, I could not take any product with THC in it.”

These findings show that CBD companies need to be completely aware of what is in the products they are producing, distributing or retailing in order to keep themselves away from the wrong end of a lawsuit. Fortunately, there are precautionary steps that companies can take in order to keep themselves in the clear.

New CBD research

RELATED ARTICLE: CBD is legal in the U.S. – But UK tourists shouldn’t bring it to the airport

Companies need to try and be as transparent as possible with the sourcing of products and be open to scrutiny and questioning from anyone attempting to help regulate the industry. They should also attempt to try and self-regulate to the best of their ability by purchasing products that have been 3rd-party lab tested and educating themselves on how to understand these results. Retailers can also pay to have any products they are selling independently lab tested to prove they are being complicit with the law.


Consumer education is more important

Within new and booming industries such as the CBD industry over the past few years, the hype that surrounds such products as CBD is generally spread through word of mouth or more recently through social media. People are willing to try products because somebody else says they work and not because they have thoroughly researched the product themselves.

This creates a duty of care for those who are selling CBD tinctures white label to ensure that what they are selling is represented to the best of their ability for the customer, so as not to misinform anyone of what they are getting. Therefore, companies should have a firm grasp on what claims they can make about their product.


Companies should also try and present this information to any consumers in such a way that makes it easy for the reader to digest. By just including the lab test results with a product but not including a summary of what is what and why it is important is just as useless for some people as not including the lab tests at all.

What next for the US companies?

The US companies in question are all still operating and as of yet have not made any public statement on the lawsuits filed. Only the future will see what their fate entails, but for the good of the credibility of the CBD industry worldwide, we hope it is just and fair.

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