On April 2nd, Attorney General Letitia James announced a series of sanctions to the cannabis company Finest Herbalist for false advertising. The mentioned company published a series of email campaigns, text messages and digital ads for one of its products that claimed it can treat and even cure the COVID-19 pandemic. Finest Herbalist’s campaign gave false hope to the American population.
New York Attorney General Letitia James reported Thursday that Finest Herbalist, a company specialized in selling Cannabidiol (CBD) in the U.S. state, was ordered to cease the marketing of their product: “Pure Herbal Total Defense Immunity Blend” because it was labeled as a drug that cures or treats COVID-19 without having any scientific evidence, giving false hopes to the population.
Through a note, Attorney General Letitia James pointed out that cannabis companies like Finest Herbalist are misleading people by describing the effectiveness of their products as a magic cure against the COVID-19 disease. By doing so, the company is giving consumers a false sense of security which could put their lives at risk.
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Cannabis has not been proven to be effective against the COVID-19 disease
The World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet identified any specific medicine that prevents or treats the virus, so any advertisement by this cannabis company claiming that their products are effective in fighting the novel coronavirus is a violation of New York state law, Attorney General Letitia James said.
“Misleading advertising is never acceptable in this country, especially during a time of crisis like this. This is a matter of public health and safety. My office will continue to pursue companies attempting to make illegal profits from this terrible pandemic,” Letitia James said in the statement.
The cannabis company Finest Herbalist approached consumers with email campaigns, text messages and digital ads with catchphrases such as “Protect against the coronavirus with immunity oil” and “Fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic! Pure Herbal Total Defense Immunity Blend.”
In addition to the cessation of these “misleading” marketing strategies, the Attorney General’s Office ordered the cannabis company to provide a thoughtful explanation on all of their web pages on which the product was advertised. The explanation must show that there is no scientific evidence of the said product, that can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, including COVID-19.
Since COVID-19’s expansion in the United States, especially in New York, the State Attorney General’s Office has sent hundreds of petitions to different businesses across the city to stop charging excessive prices for hydroalcoholic solutions, hand sanitizers, disinfectants or alcohol.
COVID-19 is hitting the U.S. harder than any other country
The coronavirus pandemic, which has already left more than 5,300 dead and 217,000 infected in the United States, has forced government authorities across the country to enact measures to restrict movement, confine citizens and cancel public events.
The State of New York is the most ravaged state in all the United States as it was reported that, as of last Thursday, April 2nd, a total of 2,373 deaths from coronavirus (432 more than Wednesday) and 92,381 infected (8,669 more than Wednesday), while looking for alternatives to alleviate the shortage of respirators. At the current rate of admissions, respirators could be exhausted in the next six days and lead to an even more catastrophic scenario, according to the United States government.
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