Canadian Cannabis Mega Brands Sued for False Labeling, Potency

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CALGARY, Alberta – A long list of Canadian cannabis product producers, including industry leaders like Cronos Group Inc. and Tilray Canada Ltd., have been named in a class action lawsuit that claims products were labeled with cannabinoid THC and CBD content levels much higher than what was actually contained in the product.

The suit was filed on June 16, at the Judicial Centre of Calgary.

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A complete list of defendants in the suit includes: Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., AuroraCo., Aleafiaco, Aleafia Health Inc., Emblem Cannabis Corp., Hexo Corp., HexoCo, Cronos, Cronosco, Tilray, Organigram Holdings Inc., OrganigramCo, MediPharm Labs Corp., and MediPharmCo.

Lisa Marie Langevin is listed as plaintiff in the case. Langevin said she purchased Tilray cannabis oil product at a legal cannabis retailer in February 2020.

She used the product four times over a month, increasing dosage each time, and did not feel any psychoactive effect. Inexperienced with cannabis products, Langevin then consulted a biochemist friend and allowed him to try the product, which again produced no psychoactive effects.

The friend, Shaun Mesher, arranged for the product and its plastic container to be tested; results showed it contained only 46 percent of the level of THC that was indicated on the label. A second test of the same product then showed THC level at 79 percent of what was labeled.

At that point, Mesher tested six various cannabis products from different producers. Two of the products exceeded cannabinoid levels as labeled, while the other four were below what the label advertised.

Products ranged from 54 to 119 percent of levels indicated on their labels. Four out of six products listed in the claim are allegedly significantly outside the variability limit for ingredient content allowed by Health Canada, the governing agency for legal cannabis Canada.

The suit also asserts that plastic containers may have affected product potency. Some research has suggested plastic containers may leech potency from cannabis oil products.

Plaintiff’s attorney John Kingman Phillips said the suit has been brought to bring attention to a potentially hazardous situation for consumers, who cannot be assured of dosage levels or product effects.

The suit asks for $500 million (CAD) in damages for Canadians that purchased legal medical cannabis since June 16, 2010, as well as those who purchased legal recreational cannabis since October 17, 2018. Plaintiffs are seeking an additional $5 million in punitive damages, per named company.