Recent research studies regarding the health and safety of cannabis and hemp products have become leverage for some attorneys. As a result, companies that aren’t prepared for these emerging product liability risks could find themselves facing costly lawsuits.

According to Wilson Elser, “Relying on new studies, attorneys may soon seek to establish medical causation that links the use of high-THC products to cardiovascular conditions, mental health issues and susceptibilities in certain consumer populations. The hemp industry is not immune, given the recent explosion of unregulated but intoxicating hemp-derived products that contain levels of THC similar to regulated cannabis products.”

The publication goes on to note that the increase in lawsuits can be attributed in part to growing cannabis legalization at the state level, the relaxation of rules surrounding cannabis research, and hemp being removed from the Controlled Substances Act.


Plaintiffs seeking compensation over research-based health concerns

As cannabis research studies increase, it is believed that more product liability lawsuits will be filed against companies by plaintiffs who are looking to prove alleged unfavorable health outcomes after consuming THC, CBD, and other minor cannabinoids.

Wilson Elser notes that even with proper labeling and disclaimers, product liability claims involving edibles will be especially problematic as these types of products are typically marketed as safer alternatives to other mainstream health/wellness items. It goes on to point out that the hemp industry should brace itself for similar allegations brought against hemp-derived THC products.



Regardless of the precautions that businesses take against product liability lawsuits, it’s impossible to guarantee they won’t be defendants in a lawsuit. Wilson Elser shares, “Working with competent risk managers, legal counsel and insurance brokers who are familiar with the cannabis insurance market and committed to true risk management is recommended to ensure that companies are prepared to defend against claims and litigation that allege injury or illness from cannabis use."