An allegedly mislabelled cannabis product at the centre of a Kamloops woman’s lawsuit has not yet been tested.
Kimberly Webster, a 27-year-old student at Thompson Rivers University, claims her use last year of a mislabeled CBD spray left her “unable to perform her duties” in school.
Webster purchased the product from the government-run B.C. Cannabis Store in Kamloops on Oct. 18, one day after recreational marijuana became legal in Canada.
She said she received an email days after her purchase advising her that the product was mislabelled.
That correspondence was followed up by another email stating the issue was resolved prior to purchase and all products sold were properly labelled by manufacturer Hexo Operations.
Webster filed her lawsuit in November, claiming Hexo was “negligent in failing to warn the plaintiff” about potential effects of their product.
Webster believed she was purchasing a product high in CBD and low in THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. She claims in her lawsuit that what she received was the opposite.
In November, Webster told KTW she used the product as a form of research for an academic paper about labelling on recreational cannabis.
“We decided we would taste it and it just kind of went from there,” she said. “We couldn’t stop laughing for anything. Everyone thought we were crazy. I started feeling anxious and, at one point, I was scared of a couch, which is strange.”
An amended notice of claim filed late last month paints a clearer picture of Webster’s allegations.
“Kimberly consumed the CBD oral spray as per the recommended use and experienced an unexpected result,” it states. “The result was that Kimberly became paranoid, distressed and anxious.”
Dustin Gagnon, Webster’s lawyer, told KTW in November the product purchased by his client would undergo testing to determine its true contents. Gagnon said that testing has not yet taken place.
Terry Lake, vice-president of Hexo Corporation, told KTW in December that his company’s staffers noticed a discrepancy in their warehouse after sending a shipment of CBD spray to government-owned B.C. Cannabis.
“We sent a shipment to the LDB (B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, which also distributes cannabis) and, shortly thereafter, it was discovered there were six bottles in our processing area that should have gone out with that shipment,” Lake said, noting the incorrect products were found at a Richmond warehouse and disposed of before any were shipped to stores.
Hexo was concerned some of its high-THC oral spray had been mislabelled as being high in CBD. THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis, while CBD use is commonly associated with relaxation rather than a high.
B.C. Cannabis sent an email on Nov. 20 to anyone who purchased the CBD spray, informing them of the mixup.
“No customer ever got any of the mislabelled product,” Lake said. “We are extremely confident in that statement.”
B.C. Cannabis is standing by Hexo.
“After having carried out a comprehensive examination of inventory, Hexo determined that no mislabelled product was sold to customers,” reads an emailed statement to KTW from the LDB.
Neither Hexo nor the B.C. government, both listed as defendants on Webster’s lawsuit, have replied with filings of their own.
Gagnon said he expects to see a response filed within weeks.
None of Webster’s allegations have been proven in court.