Curaleaf Lawsuits

Stephen Andrews
08 Jan 2022

One of the largest cannabis operators in the US has settled ten lawsuits over tainted tinctures that circulated in Oregon last summer and were purchased by dozens of people. CBD wellness drops were mistakenly infused with THC, the psychoactive ingredient extracted from marijuana. At the same time, a tincture labeled to contain THC lacked sufficient doses of the compound. Both products were recalled in September. The blunder sent three people to the ER, one was hospitalized.

State regulators found out Oregon manufacturer Select, also known as Cura Cannabis, apparently mixed up two lines of products at its Portland manufacturing site. Curaleaf acquired Cura Cannabis in 2019. 

Since the incident happened, Curaleaf has reportedly acknowledged its manufacturing failure was the result of "human error" and has said the company has changed its manufacturing process to prevent anything similar from happening in the future. The company has not specified how the mistake has been made or whether it has held anyone accountable. 

The Massachusetts-based company has now agreed to compensate $50,000 to settle a case brought by an Idaho man named Ayuba Agbonkhese. 

Agbonkhese, an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq, said he wanted terms of his deal to be public to raise awareness about the incident, according to The Oregonian

Willamette Week first reported the settlements Thursday (Jan 6). The terms of the other nine agreements have not been publicly disclosed, while three other cases remain unresolved. 

The Idaho man filed a suit after ingestion of Select CBD drops sent him to the emergency room last September. 

He said: "It was important for me to make sure that the company, as well as other companies like this, become more accountable. I want a safer community. That is my main reason for doing this in this way." 

"I want them to be better and I want the industry to be better," he added. "And I want a safer community."

Agbonkhese also said the company has not apologized. 

Agbonkhese had the CBD drops last September to treat chronic back pain. After taking the drops, he said he went out for dinner when he suddenly started feeling strange. Agbonkhese returned home to rest, but his symptoms only worsened and he thought he is suffering a stroke. 

As he was taken to hospital, he described he "was stuttering and stammering. I couldn't really walk. It was an awful experience." 

"I didn't know what was happening. I thought I might be having a stroke," he said. 

Upon medical examination, doctors found THC in his system and concluded that intoxication caused his acute symptoms.

At least four other people reported ending up in the emergency room after unwittingly using the mixed tinctures. 

One of the unresolved cases involves an Oregon man who allegedly passed away due to consuming the THC drops. However, it is known that the man's death took place weeks after the incident and the person suffered a COVID-19 infection at the time.

Hundreds of mislabeled products are believed to have circulated throughout Oregon last year before it became apparent something was off with the branded tinctures. 

The wellness drops labeled as CBD were reportedly found to contain a high concentration of THC, much more than recreational marijuana users would usually take. The faulty products were recalled after Oregon regulators reacted, and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission launched an investigation into the incident.

Stephen Andrews