New research reiterates the need for consumer caution, federal protection related to marijuana companies misleading claims
March 13, 2023
Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-823-8442
Washington, D.C. – Data Science Solutions, LLC, in partnership with NCL, today released new research that dives into false or misleading medical claims made by several leading marijuana companies on their social media platforms. The analysis qualitatively observes how these claims are framed to appeal to consumers, determines the reach of their messaging, and identifies policy solutions to help increase state and federal regulatory and enforcement action to end false – potentially harmful – marketing.
“Consumers should understand what they’re up against when perusing social media,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League. “Twitter in particular may be viewed as a more trustworthy platform and licensed marijuana companies will often site reliable academic institutions or studies in a misleading way. 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 from trying to profit.”
The FDA, FTC, and Congress can do more to protect consumers and hold these companies accountable. The paper urges Congress to “encourage FDA and FTC to expand their enforcement against therapeutic claims made by cannabis companies and provide the necessary resources for the FDA to conduct effective oversight of marijuana-related health claims on social media platforms,” And recommends FDA begin using automated tools to monitor cannabis companies’ social media posts efficiently and effectively.
“Consumers deserve better,” said Greenberg. “These companies can and should market their products in an honest way and put consumer health over profits. Investing in thorough research so that we may better understand the true therapeutic potential of marijuana would be a win-win for all.”
To learn more about the risks of unregulated cannabis products, visit cannabiswatch.org.
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit nclnet.org.