Federal Lawsuit Blames Curaleaf for Dying From Undisclosed Quantities of THC in Its CBD Drops

A wrongful death lawsuit filed on Jan. 1 in Oregon District Court against Curaleaf, the Portland-based Massachusetts-based cannabis company, said its CBD oil contained THC, which a 78-year-old man was in East Oregon killed.

The lawsuit alleges that Curaleaf sold drops of CBD oil to customers that contained undisclosed amounts of THC and alleges plaintiff, Earl Jacobe, eventually died as a result of ingesting the Select CBD drops.

The lawsuit says Jacobe took the drops in late August 2021. Shortly afterwards, the 78-year-old Jacobe is said to be ill.

“[He] believed to be dying and suffered from stroke-like symptoms and had sudden numbness and weakness of the face, arm and leg, sudden confusion, difficulty speaking and speaking, difficulty looking straight, difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance and lack of coordination ” According to the lawsuit. “Mr. Jacobe turned pale, began to sweat profusely and had to be flown to the emergency room twice. Due to the negligence of the defendant, Mr. Jacobe experienced persistent psychosis, discomfort and distress, and a disruption of life activities.”

Jacobe, who lived in the town of Christmas Valley, Lake County, died just under two months later. The lawsuit alleges that the mislabeled drops were a “significant factor” in his death. His family is petitioning for a jury trial.

“The defendant labeled, marketed, advertised and sold the Select CBD Drops consumed by Mr. Jacobe as containing cannabidiol (CBD), which does not cause intoxicating effects,” says the lawsuit. “In reality, the Select CBD Drops Mr. Jacobe consumed contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces intoxicating effects.”

Curaleaf did not respond to WW’s request for comment.

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission initially recalled hundreds of the CBD drops from Cura Cannabis (acquired by Curaleaf in 2020) in September. 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 THC as claimed.

“The defendant was negligent because it did not comply with the quality control standards of its products, which THC had discovered in its Select CBD Drops,” the lawsuit said. “The defendant negligently offered a contaminated product that contained a dangerous foreign body that could cause harm and unintended health consequences if unintentional consumption.”

Michael Fuller, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, has represented over 10 plaintiffs who accused Cura of selling the CBD drops without proper labeling, causing health problems. The company claims the incorrect labeling was an accidental mistake made by a young employee.

Fuller tells WW that nine of the 13 claims against Cura over the CBD drops have been confidentially settled.

Curaleaf is no stranger to litigation.

In 2020, a class action lawsuit was filed against Cura after failing to disclose additives in thousands of its Select branded vape products. This class action lawsuit was also brought by Fuller. That resulted in a $ 500,000 settlement.

The lawsuit came just two days after Cura paid the maximum fine to the OLCC for failing to disclose the addition of botanical terpenes in vape oils and at a time when non-marijuana terpenes were found in products of the vape were not allowed. of the respiratory disease outbreak in 2019. The OLCC also levied a $ 10,000 fee for “dishonest conduct”.

The company was founded in Portland in 2016 and was then called Cura Cannabis. In 2020, one day after the company paid its fine to the OLCC for mislabeling its vapes, it was acquired by Massachusetts-based Curaleaf. It was the highest-rated cannabis company in the state at the time, and was sold to Curaleaf for less than $ 400 million (when the acquisition was first announced, it was valued at over $ 1 billion).