On Aug. 31, a judge dismissed all claims in a lawsuit brought by plaintiff Charles Wilcoxen against Canna Brand Solutions for allegedly causing a vaping-related lung illness in a case that shows the implications from last summer’s vape crisis are still plaguing the industry.
The lawsuit, brought in September 2019, centered on CCELL products.
Canna Brand Solutions was founded in 2015, and operates as a custom packaging supplier and an authorized distributor of CCELL vaporization technologies for licensed cannabis cultivators, extractors and retailers.
“What sets us apart is our expertise in the cannabis and manufacturing industry,” Canna Brand Solutions Founder and President Daniel Allen told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “The majority of our employees have had an extensive work history, working for extraction facilities, cannabis retailers [and] managing cannabis retailers, so we speak the language and really connect to our customers and understand their needs very well.”
Last year’s outbreak of vaping-related lung illness impacted the company’s sales, and those of its partners, heavily, Allen added, but Canna Brand Solutions stayed afloat due to CCELL’s reputation as a manufacturer of safe, high-performing products.
“They’re the only vape cart manufacturer in the world that has CGMP-certified facilities and multiple ISO certifications,” Allen said. “Their whole facility is medical-grade. … On the other hand, we always vet our customers, so almost since inception, we’ve exclusively been working with licensed cannabis businesses that are operating 100% legally.”
While Canna Brand Solutions was able to emerge from the vape crisis largely unscathed, Allen said the situation highlighted the negative impact of bad actors in the industry that were perhaps using poorly manufactured vape hardware or not testing their products.
“It’s really an argument to legalize and regulate the industry,” he said. “Vitamin E acetate—for a regulated, licensed cannabis company, there’s no reason to add that in, but the black market guys, they’re trying to cut their costs and make their oil look better, and that sucks. People’s lives were impacted, and the whole point of cannabis is to impact people’s lives positively, not send people to the hospital.”
When Canna Brand Solutions was pulled into the lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that a CCELL vaporizer that was sold and distributed by the company caused him to suffer vaping-related lung injuries, but in the end, the product in question was not distributed by Canna Brand Solutions, resulting in the dismissal of the case.
“I think the broader implications are, if we don’t regulate the industry in the right way, these cases could keep coming up,” Allen said. “It’s sad. It’s supposed to be a medicine that helps people with ailments and instead, there are a couple bad players that are hurting people."