In response to concerns over the safety of certain vape and hemp products, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has launched a consumer protection investigation, his office stated in a release.

The investigation focuses on the safety and legality of vape and cannabis products, with a particular concern for those marketed towards children.

The investigation was prompted by reports of adverse health incidents linked to illicit products, both within Missouri and nationally.

Attorney General Bailey’s office has issued civil investigative demands (CIDs) to a handful of businesses, with two targeting the state’s largest and most visible hemp manufacturers and retailers in CBD Kratom and American Shaman.

“Under state law, Missourians have a right to live free from fraud and deception in the marketplace, and they have the right to know exactly what is in the products they consume,” said Attorney General Bailey.  “When purchasing products, Missourians have a right to know if they will be subject to serious and potentially dangerous side effects like psychotic episodes, severe confusion, hallucinations and other life-threatening problems. This is especially important when potentially dangerous products appear to be marketed directly at children. As Attorney General, I will use every tool at my disposal to halt the sale of dangerous, illicit products that harm Missouri consumers, especially children.”

“Delta-8 is already illegal or severely restricted in at least 24 states because of the serious health risks it poses to consumers, and Missourians are not immune from this emerging national health emergency. In March of 2024, six elementary-age children in St. Louis County became so sick that their parents had to pick them up from school after reportedly ingesting Delta-8 products that were packaged as “Nerds Rope Bites and Mad Monkey Sour Strawberry Premium Gummies.” One of the affected children had trouble walking and believed she was being kidnapped when her mother came to pick her up,” the release reads.

The subpoenas seek documents related to the marketing and sale of products containing CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC. According to the CIDs, there is reason to believe that certain companies have engaged in deceptive and unfair practices under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA).

The CIDs allege that the companies may have engaged in illegal means to market and sell these products to Missourians. “This investigation will inquire into the activities and representations of [certain sellers] in connection with the manufacturing, sale, marketing, advertisement, promotion, and/or distribution of products containing CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC.  The Attorney General has reason to believe that [the company being investigated] has used deception, fraud, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practices, and/or the concealment, suppression, or omission of material facts in connection with the sale or advertisement of CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC products,” the CID reads in part.

In addition to targeting manufacturers of cannabinoid products, the investigation also extends to distributors of e-cigarettes and other illicit vape products.

“I will always put consumers, and especially children, first,” Bailey said. “My office is pushing forward full steam ahead as we work to preserve the integrity of the marketplace and protect Missourians.”

The CIDs demand extensive documentation from the companies regarding the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of the implicated products. This includes materials related to advertising, promotional campaigns, and any communications regarding the safety and legality of their products.

Detailed information and copies of the CIDs issued can be viewed here.

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