Colorado AG Sues Firm That Sold Marijuana While Calling It Hemp

Attorney General Phil Weiser is suing a marijuana product retailer in Colorado for selling cannabis marketed as industrial hemp. The retailer, Gee Distributors, is based in Greely and operates as CBDDY. The business’ owner, Christopher Landon Eoff, is also being sued by the AG.

Under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, any misleading, misrepresenting and false advertisements are prohibited deceptive trade practices.

A recent announcement made by the attorney general’s office revealed that the suit was filed in the Weld County District Court and marked the first action against the business. The lawsuit claims that some of the products sold by Gee Distributors contain levels of THC 35 times higher than the permissible levels in Colorado’s regulated cannabis market.

In a news release, Weiser stated that the defendant sold products that were significantly more potent than those sold in dispensaries licensed by the state with almost no regard for requirements such as age verification and laboratory testing.

The company’s e-commerce site provides THCA vapes, concentrates and flowers, as well as edibles that contain delta-9 THC. The latter is a psychoactive compound in regulated cannabis that can be found in trace amounts in hemp.

Regulators in the state of Colorado require that industrial hemp companies have their products tested at any of the 12 state-certified testing laboratories. While testing is mandatory, hemp operators aren’t mandated to provide certificates of their analysis to consumers.

The attorney general’s office also revealed that its investigation determined that the business also amended and/or forged certificates of analysis so it could tout its products as legal. CBDDY’s products are also erroneously marketed in flavors and forms, and have imagery that appeals to underage individuals.

Further, CBDDY also made illegal and false claims of health benefits and failed to verify the age of its consumers. Weiser noted that the state would hold any individual who evaded state marijuana laws accountable.

In the last couple of years, we have seen governments in different states launch a crackdown on intoxicating hemp-based cannabinoids. This issue reared its head a few years after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp. At the time of the bill’s passage, however, legislators may have not been aware that the crop’s legalization would create a space allowing the market for intoxicating cannabinoids such as THCA and delta-8 THC to thrive.

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is defined as hemp that contains no more than 0.3% THC.

This lawsuit in Colorado brings to light the need for reliable testing equipment from providers such as Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) so that authorities and industry players can ascertain that hemp products being sold contain exactly what the label says they contain.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ASTC

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