Customers can sue CBD companies for alleged defective, dangerous, or mislabeled products including Proposition 65 violations. That includes selling your customers a product that makes them sick, exposing them to THC or other cannabinoids not as marketed, and making false claims about your product. In order to minimize your liability, it is crucial to have a strategy in place for these situations.
How to Mitigate CBD Product Liability Claims
First and foremost, having a comprehensive testing strategy already in place for all of your CBD products is crucial. Make sure that you’re having your products third-party, independently tested for cannabinoid and terpene content. Testing your products for contaminants like lead levels and toxin content is crucial for minimizing liability. Also, prioritize the proper labeling of your products. This includes a correct ingredients list, no false claims, and checking Proposition 65 guidelines if you plan on selling to residents in California.
We recommend creating a recall strategy so that you have one in place just in case you have to facilitate this. If one customer reports that your products got them sick, it is best to issue a product recall in order to minimize damage and liability. Your recall strategy should have definitions and standards for different scopes of any given recall. Here’s some guidance on product recalls from the FDA: Product Recall Guide.
Having an appointed recall committee or personnel to guide any recall investigations is pertinent. You will also need a product complaint form for easy utilization for your customers. Developing a complaint receipt and evaluation method can provide better guidance for a potential recall. You will need to create a better understanding of what your product complaint investigation will look like– what facts should your committee be gathering in order to determine if the recall was valid? How should your recall look like in order to keep your customers and vendors safe?
If your CBD products are being sold by different vendors, make sure to have a current distribution list at all times. Having an up-to-date list gives you the opportunity to better grasp the problem at hand and have better management over it. You’ll also want to institute a stock recovery method so that your tainted products in inventory can be effectively removed from sale and distribution. Having a recall template in hand can also help you issue a recall statement quicker. Always document the entire process if you have to participate in a product recall.
Compliance Testing and Audits
There are third-party groups that conduct audits of CBD companies. We recommend always participating in these tests and audits to make sure your products are compliant and safe. The more testing you take advantage of, the more you can limit your liability and reduce the risk of harming your customers.
Learn More About CBD Product Liability Claims
Hemp Depot is proud to share all the rules and regulations on CBD products. Product liability claims are a risk for any company selling retail products but are an even greater risk for our industry due to under regulation. The best practice is committing to transparency and testing your products whenever possible. For more information regarding CBD product liability claims, please contact us!