Public Service Announcement: Certificates of Analysis and Legal Risks
A public service announcement to my friends in the intoxicating hemp products business: your certificate of analysis will not save you.
Hello, I’m Morgan Davis, a cannabis attorney based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Let’s talk about how to keep your business protected and thriving. The Nebraska Attorney General is currently suing numerous companies in the state for misleading the public, and this situation has broader implications for businesses across the United States.
Widespread Misleading Products
Law enforcement in Nebraska, at the Attorney General’s request, has been confiscating and testing delta-8 products and other intoxicating hemp products. Shockingly, only 15% of the tested products matched their labels. This alarming discrepancy has prompted legal actions against companies in the supply chain, aiming to force them to remove products from the shelves.
Legal Implications for Businesses
Delta-8 products are the primary focus, but other products are also facing legal challenges. The Attorney General’s concern is that companies are maximizing financial gains by misleading the public about the contents of their products.
Manufacturers: Accuracy Matters
Manufacturers, take note: what’s in the product should match what’s on the label. If you hesitate to disclose the product’s contents, perhaps you should reconsider producing it. Misleading the public can have severe consequences for everyone.
Distributors and Retailers: Beware of Certificates of Analysis
Distributors and retailers, do not rely solely on certificates of analysis (COAs) as a golden ticket. Even if you have a COA claiming the product is as labeled, it won’t necessarily protect you from legal actions. A COA should cover both the distillate and the end product, include comprehensive testing, and be from an accredited lab.
Regulatory Compliance Tips
- Not all COAs are equal.
- COAs should cover both the distillate and end product.
- COAs should include testing for solvents, heavy metals, and microbials.
- Ensure the COA is from an accredited lab and recent.
- Check for product expiration dates.
Lastly, refrain from selling these products to individuals under the age of 21. Like alcohol, intoxicating products are meant for adults. Law enforcement interventions often result from underage individuals accessing and getting sick from these products.
Legal Guidance and Compliance
If you’re uncertain about compliance or have questions about certificates of analysis, reach out to us. We can guide you through the steps and questions related to product development, supplier contracts, and overall compliance. Let’s avoid the legal pitfalls faced by companies in Nebraska.
At the end of the day, let’s collectively strive to avoid legal troubles. If you’re a supplier, retailer, or manufacturer unsure about the steps you’re taking, give us a call. We’ll help you navigate the complexities and ensure you don’t end up facing legal challenges like those in Nebraska.