In today’s world of expanded cannabis legalization, many companies make claims about their products, but not all may be true.

A new report urges caution from companies and consumers regarding false or misleading claims.

Data Science Solutions (DSS), LLC performed the research through a partnership with the National Consumers League (NCL)

The research team pulled listings from Weedmaps and Leafly, obtaining nearly comprehensive lists of U.S. dispensaries.

The team gathered Twitter handles from company profiles and websites before collecting all their tweets.

Additionally, researchers analyzed health-related claims from the top 25 cannabis company accounts on Twitter.

The team analyzed how users interacted with the companies’ content.

The Analysis

DSS’ and NCL’s analysis looks at how companies frame their product claims to entice consumers and the extent of their reach.

The team’s analysis also highlights policy solutions that might aid state and federal regulation and stop false and potentially harmful marketing.

According to DSS, regulatory agencies like FDA, FTC, and Congress aren’t doing enough to protect consumers and hold companies accountable.

National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg says consumers deserve better than some companies’ current offerings.

“These companies can and should market their products in an honest way and put consumer health over profits,” says Greenberg. “Investing in thorough research so that we may better understand the true therapeutic potential of marijuana would be a win-win for all.”

The researchers say Congress should urge FDA and FTC to step-up enforcement against companies that make false claims about their products.

They also say FDA should have the resources to conduct effective oversight for cannabis-related health claims on social media platforms.

Greenberg says consumers should understand what they see on social media.

“Twitter, in particular, may be viewed as a more trustworthy platform and licensed marijuana companies will often cite reliable academic institutions or studies in a misleading way,” says Greenberg. “These companies use Twitter to target consumers and declare that their products can help address, even treat, health issues from ‘pain’ to neurological diseases, even cancer. However, these claims are not backed by sound, clinical research—though the data is lacking at best, companies don’t let that stop them trying to profit.”

The researchers recommend that FDA use automated tools to monitor cannabis companies’ social media posts efficiently and effectively.

By Benjie Cooper

Raised on geek culture, Benjie has been in cannabis news since 2014, and a consumer since long before that. Before starting CannaGeek, he wrote for the Candid Chronicle and co-hosted the Nug Life Radio Show.

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