CDB is everywhere these days. Products containing CBD can be purchased online, at health-food stores, and even at gas stations. The market for CBD containing or infused products is burgeoning and represents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs as the market is expected to expand to a more than $16 billion industry by 2025. Despite its popularity, there is little in the way of regulation or guidance regarding the advertising and selling of CBD products.
In recent months, there have been a series of class-action lawsuits filed against the manufacturers and sellers of CBD products alleging false and misleading advertising and labeling of these products in violation of consumer protection statutes. In one of these newly filed class-action lawsuits, a putative class of consumers from Massachusetts filed a class-action lawsuit against Global Widget LLC, d/b/a Hemp Bombs (“Hemp Bombs”). The complaint alleges misleading labeling and statements concerning numerous Hemp Bombs products, including gummies, lollipops, capsules, syrup, vape and pet products.
According to the complaint, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical compound known as a phytocannabinoid. CBD is typically derived from hemp plants for its purported medicinal qualities. CBD is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, diabetes, PTSD, and chronic pain. CBD can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. Food and beverage items can be infused with CBD as an alternative means of ingesting the substance.
The Hemp Bombs lawsuit is primarily based on several allegedly false and misleading claims concerning the Hemp Bombs products made on product labels and on the company’s website. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the maker of Hemp Bombs products represents through its advertising and packaging that its CBD-containing products have specific amounts of CBD when, in fact, the products “do not contain the amount of CBD as advertised and are instead grossly under-dosed.”
The complaint recites statements allegedly from the Hemp Bombs website which the complaint alleges are false or misleading. In one such statement, the maker of Hemp Bombs products allegedly claimed:
What makes our products different from the rest? We only use 99 percent pure CBD isolate, and we lab test our products to ensure they only contain CBD and no other cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp Bombs CBD products won’t get you “high,” and we follow industry best practices for CBD extraction, manufacturing and packaging. Learn more about our superior CBD products today.
The complaint alleges that Hemp Bombs sells CBD oils with advertised potencies of 125mg, 300mg and 600mg. In actuality, the complaint claims, the products do not contain the amounts of CBD alleged. According to the complaint, when an independent laboratory retained by the plaintiff’s attorney tested the Hemp Bombs products for the amount of CBD contained in them, it found that the products contained only 2.6% to 35.8% of the claimed CBD content.
Beyond the claims of potency, the plaintiff also alleges that Hemp Bombs marketed certain of its products as “pure” and “certified pure”, allegedly because the company “knew that consumers would pay more for” products labeled as such. Consumers believed they were receiving pure, high-potency CBD products and agreed to pay a premium for such products the complaint alleges. The suit alleges unremarkably that the CBD dosage of the products is material to consumers who relied on Hemp Bombs’ representations. Because the consumers allegedly did not receive the amount of CBD that they paid for, the lawsuit claims that the consumers were deprived of the benefit of their bargain and duped into paying a premium for a specific ingredient in a specific amount without actually receiving the promised amount of that ingredient. The complaint seeks refunds, disgorgement of all of Hemp Bombs’ profits for the sale of the products along with treble or punitive damages.
The entire complaint can be found here.
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