CBD Product Companies Accused of Misleading Consumers by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said in a complaint before the body filed on Thursday that it believes that two CBD companies, Bionatrol Health and Isle Revive, as well as the companies’ owners and managers, violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by placing misleading information on its website and making it easy for consumers to spend more without noticing it through promoting upsells and not displaying amounts or price totals. 

Both companies are located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Bionatrol’s business registration reportedly expired in May 2020 and Isle Revive’s registration is currently delinquent. The companies were accused of having engaged in “unlawful acts and practices” which have affected commerce. 

The companies reportedly sold products for human use based on cannabidiol (CBD) which is extracted from hemp plants. The complaint included information from the respondent’s products and websites which explained that CBD is “100% non-habit forming,” and “has been medically proven to positively regulate your (endocannabinoid system) addressing issues such as anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, hypertension and even cardiovascular issues.” 

The FTC said the companies had not done studies to show that their CBD products “cure, treat, alleviate, or prevent diseases or health conditions.” Additionally, the website was designed to encourage and force consumers to purchase more products, or upsell through providing deals. The website further included a button to buy one bottle which was automatically checked and not able to be unchecked. After purchases are completed the website reportedly does not display the amount of bottles ordered or the total charges to the consumer. Reportedly, consumers who ordered one bottle of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Extract were sent five bottles and charged almost $200. 

Bionatrol Health and Isle Revive reportedly “caused or were likely to cause” injury to consumers who were drawn in by the various upsell deals but would not have known that the statements on the respondent’s website were not proven or what the total of their purchase would be after they added the various upsell items. 

The complaint included counts of false or unsubstantiated efficacy claims, false establishment claims, deceptive pricing, unfairly charging consumers without authorization, and violations of sections 5 and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.