Lawsuit Charges: There is a pervasive mislabelling of cannabis products in the Canadian market

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A $500M class action lawsuit filed this month in Calgary, Alberta, says medicinal and recreational cannabis products were sold with “THC or CBD content levels that were drastically different from the amount advertised on the labels” (my emphasis).

The suit names major corporate players in the Canadian market including Tilray, Cronos, Aurora Cannabis, Organigram, and MediPharm, and says they engaged in a decades-long deceptive business practice because CBD and THC levels were often half of what was claimed, concluding “there is a pervasive mislabelling of cannabis products in the Canadian market.”

Not getting you money’s worth because of a watered-down product is one thing, but there’s a harsh consequence for medicinal users: If you don’t know how much CBD or THC you’re getting then you can’t properly calibrate your dosages and thus likely to be deprived of the medical benefit. And so you may give up on an affordable, effective product that could otherwise relieve, say, your pain and inflammation.

And then there’s the case of getting more than what you bargained for: A class action suit filed in Nova Scotia said that a woman’s medicinal cannabis was contaminated with pesticides and that she experienced nausea, dizziness and headaches, symptoms that subsided after she stopped consuming Organigram’s cannabis.

These lawsuits are an important reminder of how we can protect ourselves: Always look for a Certificate of Analysis performed by an independent lab with each cannabis product.

The COA label should clearly identify the lab, list both the CBD and THC content, and if you live in the US make sure the THC content is 0.3 percent or less if you live in a state that outlaws recreational cannabis.

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