Previously in the hail of class action suits against CBD companies, we’ve covered suits against Bhang Corporation, Elixinol, and Curaleaf. Add to that pile Koi Naturals, which is also being hit by a class action suit claiming the company illegally advertised its CBD products as dietary supplements and food additives.
Koi Naturals got a class action lawsuit for Christmas
So it works like this: a company markets CBD products, and they have to be careful as to what claims to make about their products efficacy as drugs / supplements, and what claims to make about the health benefits of CBD.
When the FDA feels the company is overstepping this boundary, they fire off a warning letter to the company. Then, like mushrooms after a rain, there comes some plaintiffs filing civil actions against the company claiming that the company (pick one or more) falsely advertised, didn’t deliver on CBD potency, illegally sold CBD products out of step with FDA policy, or whatnot.
The action against Koi Naturals (membership wall link) alleges simply that the company illegally marketed CBD products as drugs, dietary supplements, and food additives. That’s all there seems to be to it. The plaintiffs are two citizens of California and Arizona each, and their whole beef is that they bought products which they were misled to believe were FDA-approved.
Koi Naturals seems to have changed their story on their website
So we dug around Koi Naturals’ website trying to find out where they may have made a misleading claim, and we found their FAQ. Under their FAQ we find the question “What medical conditions can Koi CBD help me with?” To which the answer comes: “Koi CBD has NOT been evaluated by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions.”
Huh. That sounds like a totally compliant answer.
Then we remembered the Wayback Machine, courtesy of Archive.org. Was there a different claim in this space before? So we checked the July 31st, 2019 archive of the same FAQ.
And there, we find the answer was different: “Legally, we are not allowed to make claims about the benefits of CBD. We have a testimonials page on our website that list what others are using Koi CBD for, and how it is helping them. Read testimonials from Koi CBD customers here.”
That’s certainly some looser language, isn’t it?
That link in the archived FAQ does indeed point to this testimonial page, archived April 18th 2019, just chock full of people saying CBD oil helped them with their anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, PTSD, migraines, sleep, epilepsy, IBS, pets, and “other health issues.”
Other Koi Naturals claims haven’t been edited yet
Besides all of the above, we could point to the product called “Koi CBD Wellness Shots,” which sure sounds like it’s being promoted to “treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions.” Come on! There’s dozens of CBD companies out there that know better.
And now the obligatory pet products page. We are getting tired of ranting about this, but making implied-health-related products for both humans and pets is just bad optics. Do aspirin companies do this? Do bandage companies do this? Do pharmaceutical products do this?
It’s a little hard to defend Koi Naturals now
Let us make this much clear: For all we know, and in fact hope is true, CBD might really help people with all these conditions. We’re doing this to point out that cannabis and hemp products need to be bumped off schedule 1, and opened up to thorough research and conclusive study of their effects, for good or bad.
We had every reason to be on Koi Naturals’ side, but changing your story like this does not look good!
This is the kind of thing we point to and say: “this is not how you get legalized cannabis products.” This is why we come out against fake vape cartridges, and why we speak in high favor of companies working within the law.
The right thing to do is to conduct ourselves within bounds of the law, and if we want things to change, point to the law as unfair and demand it be changed. That’s how we got this far. We’ve made amazing progress based upon our collective cultural promise that we will obediently abide by cannabis regulations and pay our taxes.
So, good luck out there anyway, Koi Naturals. Today you learned the Wayback Machine is a thing.
Readers, what’s your take on this situation?
Share your experiences with Koi Naturals, CBD products, or times when you wish the Wayback Machine wasn’t listening, here in the comments or in our forum.