Marijuana multistate operator Curaleaf now has been hit with four federal lawsuits in connection with a product-labeling snafu in Oregon that resulted in some customers ingesting high-THC instead of CBD wellness drops.
The case, which involves the Select brand in Oregon, underscores the importance of sound quality-assurance processes.
Curaleaf completed its acquisition of Portland-based Cura Cannabis, which owned the Select brand, in February 2020.
According to the lawsuits filed between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, at least three people went to hospital emergency departments after suffering adverse reactions.
One elderly man was taken to emergency because of concerns he was having a stroke. He wound up allegedly undergoing an unnecessary surgery to remove what doctors believed was a potentially infected hematoma in his leg.
The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, which issued an expanded product recall on Sept. 24, said 13 people reported taking the mislabeled drops.
Massachusetts-based Curaleaf told MJBizDaily on Friday that it doesn’t comment on litigation.
But a spokeswoman emailed a copy of a statement the company issued late last month, which attributed the mix-up to an “unintentional human error at our facility that led to the production of a batch of CBD drops that were actually THC drops and vice versa.”
Curaleaf said it has worked with Oregon regulators to recall the two batches in question. They were produced in May.
Approximately 500 bottles of CBD-labeled drops that contained elevated THC were sold before the recall as well as 630 bottles of THC-labeled drops that contained CBD but little or no THC, the company said.
The Oregonian reported that some customers who took drops from the mislabeled bottles might have received more than 30 milligrams of THC.
Curaleaf apologized to customers affected by the mistake and said it is “grateful” to regulators and individuals “who brought this serious matter to our attention.”
“In response to this event, as initial steps, we are reviewing production practices and controls to improve quality assurance processes, and conducting additional training sessions with our production team beginning immediately and continuing regularly,” Curaleaf said in its statement.
Oregon requires marijuana products to be tested, but the testing is done before packaging.
State regulators continue to investigate but, in the meantime, have allowed Curaleaf to continue normal business operators in Oregon, according to The Oregonian.
Each of the four lawsuits against Curaleaf, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland by the same attorney, seek punitive damages up to 1% of Curaleaf’s net worth.