Tempe, Arizona-based cultivator, producer, and distributor of medical cannabis products have filed a complaint in the Superior Court of Arizona against Colorado-based O.Pen Vape. The company filing the complaint is Dream Steam, a subsidiary of Verde. Both of Dream Steam and Verde are owned by Harvest. The initial complaint was filed in January and has finally come to a head as of June 6, 2017.
Cartridges produced by Dream Steam are cut with medium chain triglycerides (MCT) as a thinning agent. The fatty acid is derived from palm oil or coconut oil, is all natural, and clinically proven as one of the safest thinning agents for cannabis oil vaporizing. O.pen Vape uses polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400) as a thinning agent. When heated above 230°C, PEG 400 has been proven to leave behind trace levels of formaldehyde. Dream Steam believes the O.Pen Vape sprouted an entire campaign against MCT in hopes of shining a falsely positive light on their vaporizer cartridges crafted with PEG 400. The complaint addresses many points including: deceptive and misleading statements, the creation of fake news organizations to covertly spread false statements, intentional interference with business relationships and contracts, false light invasion of privacy, and unfair competition carried out by O.pen Vape, its national entities, its distribution network in individual states, and its Arizona associates.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has recently tested four thinning agents including both PEG 400 and MCT. These agents were tested for acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. The results showed MCT to be safer than any of the other options. Despite these proven results, O.pen Vape has been recorded making deceptive statements about MCT dating back as early as 2015.
This is one of the first documented lawsuits regarding the reporting of false facts within the cannabis industry. Let’s hope that we can continue fortifying responsible reporting in this rapidly growing industry.