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Attorney General Bailey Launches Consumer Protection Investigation to Combat Dangerous, Illicit Products

Home 9 Press Release 9 Attorney General Bailey Launches Consumer Protection Investigation to Combat Dangerous, Illicit Products

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey launched an investigation into illicit vape and marijuana products to ensure compliance with Missouri law, and to protect Missouri consumers from potentially dangerous products. His office issued civil investigative demands – subpoena power reserved for the Attorney General’s Office – after receiving reports that distributors were potentially violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), which grants Missourians the right to a marketplace free from fraudulent or deceptive business practices. The investigation stems from adverse health incidents occurring both in Missouri and around the nation, specifically incidents harming children.

“Under state law, Missourians have a right to live free from fraud and deception in the marketplace, and they have the right to know exactly what is in the products they consume,” said Attorney General Bailey.  “When purchasing products, Missourians have a right to know if they will be subject to serious and potentially dangerous side effects like psychotic episodes, severe confusion, hallucinations and other life-threatening problems. This is especially important when potentially dangerous products appear to be marketed directly at children. As Attorney General, I will use every tool at my disposal to halt the sale of dangerous, illicit products that harm Missouri consumers, especially children.”

Delta-8 is already illegal or severely restricted in at least 24 states because of the serious health risks it poses to consumers, and Missourians are not immune from this emerging national health emergency. In March of 2024, six elementary-age children in St. Louis County became so sick that their parents had to pick them up from school after reportedly ingesting Delta-8 products that were packaged as “Nerds Rope Bites and Mad Monkey Sour Strawberry Premium Gummies.” One of the affected children had trouble walking and believed she was being kidnapped when her mother came to pick her up.

The civil investigative demands (CIDs), sent to businesses that sell Delta-8 and Delta-9 goods, allege that they engaged in illegal means to market and sell these products to Missourians. “This investigation will inquire into the activities and representations of [certain sellers] in connection with the manufacturing, sale, marketing, advertisement, promotion, and/or distribution of products containing CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC.  The Attorney General has reason to believe that [the company being investigated] has used deception, fraud, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practices, and/or the concealment, suppression, or omission of material facts in connection with the sale or advertisement of CBD, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC products,” the CIDs state.

Attorney General Bailey also issued CIDs to distributors that sell e-cigarettes, or illicit vapes. “The Attorney General of the State of Missouri believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation be made to ascertain whether [the subject of the investigation] has engaged in or is engaging in any practices declared to be unlawful by § 407.020, RSMo. This investigation will inquire into the activities and representations of [the subject of the investigation] in connection with the sale of disposable electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products in Missouri. The Attorney General has reason to believe that [the company’s] conduct in the aforementioned areas and others involves deception and/or unfair practices within the scope of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act,” they read.

With the CIDs, Attorney General Bailey is subpoenaing documents that will allow his office to get to the bottom of potential fraud or deception.

“I will always put consumers, and especially children, first,” concluded Attorney General Bailey. “My office is pushing forward full steam ahead as we work to preserve the integrity of the marketplace and protect Missourians.”

The civil investigative demands can be viewed here.