Project CBD, a California educational nonprofit that focuses on cannabis science and therapeutics, has filed an anti-SLAPP motion seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) on First Amendment grounds.
As Project CBD's attorney Tyler R. Andrews of Greenberg Traurig, LLP stated in the motion: "This is precisely the type of lawsuit thatCalifornia's anti-SLAPP statue was enacted to prevent. Medical Marijuana Inc. is trying to bury any public criticism of its business practices and quash any debate over the health and safety of its products. The claims [against Project CBD] represent an abuse of the legal process and must be stricken."
The lawsuit followed the October 2014 publication of Project CBD's Special Report, "Hemp Oil Hustlers," which documented Medical Marijuana Inc.'s questionable financial practices and the presence of toxic solvent residue in two samples of MJNA's "Real Scientific Hemp Oil" (RSHO).
Unable to challenge the factual accuracy of Project CBD's Report, Medical Marijuana Inc. has embarked on a campaign of harassment, intimidation and disinformation to deflect attention from legitimate questions about its business practices and the quality of its products.
The lawsuit by Medical Marijuana Inc. and its subsidiary HempMeds PX alleges Project CBD, its director Martin A. Lee, journalistAaron Miguel Cantu, and others engaged in Libel, Trade Libel, False Light, Negligence and Intentional Interference with Prospective Business Advantage. The suit absurdly claims that MJNA suffered in excess of $100 million dollars in damages as a result of the Project CBD Special Report.
"Medical Marijuana Inc.'s claims are as grandiose as they are bogus," says Lee.
Medical Marijuana Inc.'s lawsuit rests entirely on the allegation that Project CBD based its Report on invalid test results provided by Stewart Environmental Consultants, an analytical lab in Colorado.
Medical Marijuana Inc.'s claim is demonstrably false.
The Project CBD Report (pp. 17-19) discussed the conflicting test results produced by Stewart: "The initial results appeared to confirm [that] the RSHO contained high levels of several heavy metals, including nickel, selenium, molybdenum, arsenic, and silver. A few days later, Stewart Environmental Consultants issued a second report that contradicted its earlier findings: Five numbers, all pertaining to heavy metal toxins, were changed from unsafe to safe levels."
Contrary to Medical Marijuana Inc.'s assertion, Project CBD accurately reported Stewart's second set of test results purporting to correct its original findings.
Project CBD also accurately reported that two other independent labs, including a DEA- and FDA-registered facility, found significant levels of toxic solvents in other RSHO samples that were never tested by Stewart. Medical Marijuana Inc.neglected to mention these lab results in its lawsuit.
To read the Project CBD Special Report, Project CBD's Anti-SLAPP motion, and Medical Marijuana Inc.'s lawsuit go to http://www.projectcbd.org/news/project-cbd-files-motion-to-strike-down-medical-marijuana-incs-100-million-lawsuit/