Colorado attorney general says company sold highly potent THC products as hemp

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A Colorado company has been hit with a lawsuit for selling highly potent cannabis products that it marketed as industrial hemp. The state’s attorney general, Phil Weiser, said his office filed the suit against Greeley-based Gee Distributors, LLC, claiming products marketed by the company contain THC levels up to 35 times higher than what is allowed even in the state’s regulated marijuana dispensaries.

The lawsuit, filed in Weld County District Court last week, is believed to be the first such enforcement action taken against an industrial hemp operator by the Colorado attorney general’s office.

‘100% compliant’?

Christopher Landon Eoff, the owner of the company, which does business and brands its products as CBDDY, was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

It claims that CBDDY sold edible cannabis products, smokeable cannabis flower, and high-THC concentrates both in Colorado and nationally through an online platform. Although the company claimed its products were from industrial hemp and “100% compliant” with federal law, lab analysis revealed the unusually high THC content.

Investigators also said they uncovered evidence that CBDDY forged or altered certificates of analysis, failed to verify the ages of purchasers and made false claims regarding health benefits of the products. Many products were also improperly marketed in forms, flavors, and with imagery appealing to children, according to the 23-page complaint.

‘Offending public policy’

“Defendants’ failure to establish a legitimate age-verification system for years is immoral and offends public policy, which strives to protect minors from harmful and intoxicating substances,” according to the lawsuit.

“Such failure has also caused, or had the potential to cause, substantial injury to the underage individuals who consume Defendants’ products. Children and teenagers are especially vulnerable to Defendants’ misrepresentations, as they are more susceptible to the potential harms of Cannabis products and are less able to protect themselves against such harms.”

Civil penalties sought

The attorney general is asking the court to force the defendants to halt deceptive marketing practices, and to impose civil penalties and restitution for violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

“Colorado’s legal cannabis regulations are designed to protect consumers, ensure the highest safety and quality standards, and keep cannabis out of the hands of kids,” Weiser said in a statement. “As this action shows, we will hold accountable anyone who evades Colorado cannabis laws.”

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