10.06.15

1st Legalized Marijuana Products Liability Lawsuit

Posted in Products Liability at 4:29 pm by kevin

With more states legalizing pot and making marijuana accessible to a lot of people, it is only logical that safety guidelines should be made in relation to the drug. Unfortunately, pot is still largely considered an illicit drug in the U.S. and federal safety guidelines for growing marijuana is still non-existent. But it is on the basis that there is an approved list of pesticides to be used on pot that the 1st Legalized Marijuana Products Liability Lawsuit was lodged.

In Colorado, two users of marijuana filed a lawsuit against LivWell, a pot company based on Denver, on the grounds that it used an unhealthy pesticide to grow weed. It was discovered that the company used Eagle 20 EW to grow pot, a fungicide that are commonly used on hops and grapes, but is prohibited for use on tobacco, because it can have a dangerous reaction when heated. This led to authorities to quarantine thousands of plants, but were subsequently released after they were tested and found to be at acceptable levels.

The plaintiffs argue, however, that the pesticide used was not on the approved list, which means it can pose a risk to the lives of the users. According to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Woodrow, “The case is all about making sure that the cannabis industry is safe for consumers”.

But LivWell insists that their products are safe for use. “We have no reason to believe our product is not perfectly safe.” The company’s lawyer also said that there has been no consumer illnesses that were linked to the use of pesticides on marijuana, whether it is in Colorado or other states.

In June of this year, Colorado and Washington, 2 of the 4 states that were authorized to sell pot, were told by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to apply through special local need registration to have some cannabis-related chemicals approved. The process, however, could take years. The 1st Legalized Marijuana Product Liability Lawsuit not only underscores the lack of guidelines on the chemicals to be used, but also on government oversight. The use of pot may been legalized, but other factors affecting it are yet to be identified or regulated.

This is not the first incident of marijuana recall due to use of unauthorized pesticide, only that no lawsuit has been filed because of the recall. A Seattle attorney, Alison Malsbury, considers the 1st Legalized Marijuana Product Liability Lawsuit to be a harbinger of other similar lawsuits, especially because of the lack of pot regulations. According to her, “States need to develop comprehensive lab-testing requirements and guidelines about what pesticides are OK to use on this product. It’s going to be treated no differently than food or beverages.”

Apart from disagreement over which chemicals to use when growing pot, there is also a growing concern on companies’ improper use the word “organic” when referring to marijuana products. This is why fraud investigator, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, has been assigned to carry out reviews.

With more problems on pot popping out of nowhere, the first lawsuit on product liability of marijuana would be followed by second, third, fourth, and so on.