Curaleaf Publicly Settles a Lawsuit Over THC-Laced CBD Drops

One of 13 people sued Curaleaf over its THC-infused CBD drops has reached a public settlement with the Massachusetts-based cannabis company.

Ayuba Agbonkhese, 45, on Wednesday agreed to the company’s $ 50,000 settlement offer. Curaleaf settled 10 of the 13 cases, but this is the first settlement where terms have been publicly disclosed.

Agbonkhese, who lives in Idaho, allegedly fell ill after ingesting the drops he bought in Oregon in September and ended up in an emergency room where he “experienced damage including believing that he would die, tremors, Palpitations, psychosis, ailments and suffering and impairment of life activities, “said the federal complaint that was filed with the Oregon District Court.

His attorney Michael Fuller, who represents 12 other plaintiffs who sued Curaleaf over the same THC-fortified drops, says Agbonkhese will serve as a witness in the other advancing cases likely to take place in the summer and fall.

“Although Ayuba’s case is now closed, he will continue his fight to hold Curaleaf accountable for his reckless behavior,” the statement of acceptance reads. “Ayuba will continue to seek stronger government regulation of Curaleaf’s activities and higher penalties for drug manufacturers like Curaleaf who break the law.”

Nine of the 13 plaintiffs have so far reached closed-door settlement agreements with Curaleaf, Fuller says.

On January 1, Curaleaf was sued for wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that 78-year-old Earl Jacobe used the drops last fall and died two months later. He called the drops an “essential factor” in his death. Fuller says Agbonkhese will stand as a witness in this case too.

The CBD drops in question were made by Cura Cannabis, a Portland company that was acquired by Curaleaf in 2020.

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission first recalled hundreds of the CBD drops in September after learning they contained unknown amounts of THC. Shortly afterwards, the company recalled bottles of the same brand of drops, but they were supposed to contain THC. The OLCC found that the THC drops actually did not contain the claimed psychotropic chemical.

Despite its legal troubles, Curaleaf continues to expand. In December, it announced the impending acquisition of a vertically integrated cannabis company called Bloom, which has five pharmacies in Arizona, as well as growing and processing facilities.