• Baron23
    I thought there may be some people interested in this article;
    Cannabis Consumer Class Actions Are Being Filed

    On May 10, 2018, a vape cartridge customer filed a consumer class action in Los Angeles Superior Court against cannabis brand Brass Knuckles and Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, better known as the rapper Xzibit. Also named is SC Laboratories Inc. (SC Labs), the logo of which appears on the vape cartigage product’s packaging.

    Allegations of False Advertising, Misbranding and Adulteration
    The complaint alleges breach of warranty, false advertising, unfair competition, misbranding and adulteration of Brass Knuckles−branded THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) concentrate vape cartridges as a result of alleged pesticide contamination and inaccurate marketing statements regarding the product's THC concentration. Specifically, the complaint states:

    “Defendants prominently advertise and label the Products as being ‘Lab Tested, Contaminant Free’ … when in fact they are contaminated by harmful pesticides. Defendants also prominently advertise and label the Products as being the ‘Most Potent THC Cartridge Available.’ However, the THC content of the Products is actually substantially lower than that of many competing vape cartridges. Defendants are able to charge substantially more for the Products than they would otherwise if consumers knew that the Products were contaminated with pesticides and not as potent as promised.”

    The complaint also is based on the allegation that the products were packaged with the following statement: “All our products are lab tested, ensuring that we deliver the Highest Quality Standards to our Patients. Verify yourself!” In addition, it is alleged that Xzibit also made various representations on social media, including on Instagram, such as: “Our oil is clean. Pls [sic] do your homework.”

    The plaintiff states that he retained the well-known cannabis testing lab Steep Hill to conduct laboratory tests on two flavors of the Brass Knuckles product, which revealed detectable amounts of pesticides, including bifenazate, etoxazole, myclobutanil, trifloxystrobin, permethrin, bifenthrin and carbaryl. The complaint alleges that the levels of contamination exceed the “Action Level” set forth for each of the observed residual pesticides by the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 42, section 5719.

    According to the complaint, the lab tests allegedly also revealed total cannabinoid potency between 59 percent and 77.3 percent for the products tested, but that many competing vape cartridges have substantially higher potencies, with tested results between 86 percent and 95 percent.

    The Claimed Damages
    Based on these allegations, the complaint asserts causes of action for breach of express and implied warranties, negligent failure to warn and violation of California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL, codified at Business & Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500 et seq.) and California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA, codified at Civil Code section 1750).

    Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants committed acts of unfair competition by engaging in false advertising and promotion of the products, likely to mislead consumers by misbranding the products and by selling adulterated products.

    The alleged violations of the UCL and CLRA are particularly troublesome because, in addition to standard compensatory damages, the statutes allow – depending on proof and cause of action – for such remedies as injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, restitution, attorney’s fees and costs, and punitive damages. Those are precisely the damages that the plaintiff seeks, in addition to an injunction permanently enjoining the defendants from marketing the product as “contaminant free.”
    The Class to Be Certified
    The complaint seeks to certify a class consisting of “All persons or entities who purchased Brass Knuckles THC concentrate vape cartridges from May 04, 2014, to the present that were advertised, marketed, distributed and sold by Defendants.” We point out that − unlike in other types of consumer class actions where the ability to ascertain the plaintiff class may be difficult due to a lack of records and consumer identity − this is less true for class actions involving cannabis due to “track and trace” programs and other statutory record-keeping requirements.

    Our team has predicted a coming wave of this type of cannabis consumer class action based on allegations of false advertising and unfair competition. As we discussed in earlier papers on the topic (New Rules for Cannabis: The Coming Wave of California False Advertising and Unfair Competition Claims and Marijuana Marketing: The Do’s and Don’ts of Cannabis Advertising in California ), these claims are premised on violation of the state cannabis regulations, but are actionable under state consumer protection laws. It is essential for every California cannabis business to have a solid grasp of the cannabis regulations and the unfair competition laws to fairly compete in the new cannabis marketplace, and to avoid being named as an unwitting defendant in an expensive and potentially company-ending lawsuit.

    Further complicating matters, insurance companies often decline coverage for these claims, leaving the company to fend for itself. As we have previously observed, this has proven disastrous for the dietary supplement industry over the past decade, with many companies forced to shut down after being found liable for uninsured damages and fees. History may be repeating itself with the cannabis industry. Although claims brought under the UCL and CLRA will be difficult to avoid as the California cannabis market expands, a well-informed licensee may nevertheless effectively mitigate its risk through vigilance and by instituting best practices consistent with the regulations.

    This is one of the first – and certainly the most high-profile yet – of many more cannabis unfair competition cases to be filed. Stay tuned.

    This article was previously printed in Cannabis Law Report.
  • To the Cloud
    interesting , does it say who the plaintiff is ? You think it's legit or they are just trying to shake em down for a settlement ?
  • Baron23
    does it say who the plaintiff isTo the Cloud

    I only know what is in the article above and no, they do not name the plaintiff but I'm sure if you wanted to peruse the court filings in CA you could find it, perhaps?

    You think it's legit or they are just trying to shake em down for a settlementTo the Cloud

    Class action isn't the way to shake someone down. Usually only the lawyers get substantive benefit. No, I think its real and I think Brassknuckles has been pulling shit off on people prior to testing regs going into place in CA.

    I don't think, no matter the outcome of the suit, that they will be able to avoid scrutiny on adulterants and contents any longer in CA.
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  • YellowDog
    Personally, I only consume flower because of stuff like this. I realize that I can be lied to about the growth of flower, but there are less steps in the process in getting it to market, thus less steps to cut corners on...
  • juxt
    Not sure where this will go...I've been looking into some stuff in Cali for an opportunity and what I've seen is that if you come down out of the mountains into the traditional Ag vallies, you end up with land that has been just freaking blasted with additives and pesticides and that kind of crap for decades from other crops primarily concerned with food/edible. In SFV I heard that they aren't allowed to add new greenhouses for example, so the big ag compies are renting out their shitty spaces to MMJ folks and in both of those cases it doesn't matter what the grower does, the contaminate in the soil is going to end up in the plants.

    We had a discussion in another thread the other day about whether the chemicals can be removed from the extracts. They can be removed if they're the kind of spray on additive or pesticide used externally on the plant as it is growing. If they are in the soil, and they are drawn into the molecular biology of the plant itself as it sprouts and grows and draws nutrients from the root system, you're screwed, even distillation won't work in that case because of the molecular bonding. You CAN move past that with chemical based solution separation, but who wants to put chemicals in other chemicals in their eucalyptus.
  • Bud
  • Bud
    against cannabis brand Brass Knuckles and Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, better known as the rapper XzibitBaron23

    Haven't heard about this guy in a minute! lol
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  • ssaucyc515
    Lol I almost bought 1000* of these last year. Thank god
  • The Rogue Wax Works
    "Pimp my cart!" With pesticides?

    Curious how this will go. Don't know much about the testing laws in California. In Oregon if you don't pass your lab your stuff can never make it to the market.

    It will all come down to whether brass knuckles knew this information or whether the lab was giving them false information.
  • McNuggetsTrip
    Maybe paying for false information ;)
  • EconMan
    I almost bought 1000* of these last year. Thank godssaucyc515

    You buy a thousand carts at a time? beast.
  • ssaucyc515
    I had an opportunity to. But not about that life no more hahahaha :wink:
  • EconMan

    LOL. I buy in bulk. In such a climate, the only way to obtain affordable material. Lots of unconnected folks in suburbia here pay $400/z and feel they are getting a deal.

    As a semester project, I have undergraduate students (intermediate micro-econ) doing research papers on the differences between "Legal" and "illegal" markets with respect to price and other economic variables. They have to come up with an equation of demand and supply (I don't care whether their data is valid -- not the point) and use it to explain and predict activity. It is the sort of thing that makes math/econ interesting to young people, some who have never had a job yet in their young lives, but they DO grasp the concepts of demand AND supply with respect to black markets (market price of adderall skyrockets before Finals Week -- $40/pill I'm told. So the fun nature of the subject gets more enthusiasm from them than if it was "widgets" and not weed :nerd:
  • ssaucyc515
    youre paying way tooo much for adderal. here. i got a guy. :lol: jkjk personally if i had to opportunity or access to amazing weed, 400 an oz is justifiable to me. I pay 200- 350 an ounce depending on quality. i can say that now because my tolerance is relatively low after i got sick but, i probably wouldnt consistently get it. great project, id have a blast doing it no doubt. i hated my econ professor haha. My undergrad is actually in econ :lol:
  • EconMan

    I don't pay anything for it because I HATE meth.
    Students today seem addicted to it. In Finals Week I'm told there is always a shortage and the price is bid up.

    I pay $200'ish for flower because I buy in bulk, but quality varies greatly and supply is unreliable. Honestly, it is why I got into concentrates.

    And as far as hated professors go, I'm on several lists. Probably the one I'm most proud of is the "unfriendly professors to student athletes" list :nerd:
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