Cannabis producers warned not to financially capitalize on latest COVID-19 research claims

One Oregon hemp producer is shifting wholesale CBGA and CBDA for upwards of $5,000 per kilogram

If you’ve been following the cannabis industry news (or any news for that matter) it’s likely that you will have stumbled upon a stream of articles claiming that the soil-grown plant may help to prevent or even treat the highly contagious SARS-COVID19 coronavirus.

While the recent research understandably triggered excitement among industry players – investigators delivered damning evidence of the therapeutic qualities harbored by cannabinoid acids, cannabidiol (CBD) and even synthetically-produced cannabis compounds – entrepreneurs are being advised to hold back on profiteering from the findings.

This warning did not stop the CBD, cannabigerol (CBG) and hemp biomass markets from attracting plenty of interest after the research was published, however. So much so, analysts were amazed to see these segments reach heights that have not been witnessed in three whole years. Consequently, stock prices are spiking, as is investor interest. Nonetheless, cashing in on the news of cannabis’ benefits as a COVID-19 treatment/preventative medicine is not recommended, say producers and industry leaders.

Profiting from cannabis and COVID-19: Compliance, legal risks and lack of human clinical trials

It’s not just the cannabis industry’s active entrepreneurs that are being forewarned against financially capitalizing on the claims of cannabis being a coronavirus cure but also, consumers. Since the latest research does not include human clinical trials, consumers could be duped into buying/trying a product that might not actually deliver the results they’ve been promised.

“Science is not the result of one or two studies. It’s a long process based on peer review and the opportunity for replication of results,” said the executive director of the Vancouver, Washington-headquartered Hemp Industries Association, Jody McGinness.

This hasn’t stopped Oregon-located hemp producer Wesley Ray from making bank. Ray is shifting CBGA and CBDA crumbles in wholesale amounts for upwards of $5,000 per kilogram. His money-making idea came about after an Oregon State University study demonstrated that cannabinoid acids may block COVID-19 from infiltrating human cells. 

“As much as we are encouraged by studies that open up people’s eyes to the possibilities, we want to caution anybody against extrapolating from the results of early studies to any type of claims about the efficacy of cannabinoids,” added McGinness. 

She makes a valid point. The consequences of reeling in consumer profit without first demonstrating cannabis’ ability to treat coronavirus in human models remain uncertain, but it’s likely that businesses could face compliance and legal risks for doing so.

Profiting from cannabis and COVID-19: Claims on websites or social media could be false marketing

Making unsubstantiated claims about cannabis products is a major no-go. This was proved to be the case in 2019, when the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcing that they would begin sanctioning cannabis product creators who falsely advertise using health claims that cannot be backed up with solid scientific evidence.

Aside from listing any purported health benefits of cannabis in relation to COVID-19 not to mention other types of medical ailments, diseases and conditions it is illegal to write something on a brand-connected social media page or commercial website if it cannot be verified with a scientific source.

With that being said, cannabis companies and product manufacturers are being advised to steer clear of profiting from cannabis and COVID-19. Furthermore, consumers ought to avoid the urge to click on shopping cart-linked call to actions (CTAs) that may lead them somewhere, well, misleading.