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Attorney General forces Portland CBD store to take down misleading COVID-19 advertising

'The message is simple: There are no known cures for COVID-19.'
Credit: KGW
A CBD store in Portland, Ore. used false advertising to say they could offer lung support and immunity during the coronavirus pandemic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland CBD store was forced to take down advertising claiming their products could boost immunity against the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The sign, pictured above, was spotted by a KGW staffer outside Lumi Wellness shop on SE Powell Tuesday afternoon. We called the Oregon Attorney General's Office to see if this violated any laws. 

The attorney general’s office took their own action based on our question and
sent out an investigator to the store that same day. The investigator told the owners the sign violated the Unlawful Trade Practices Act.  

According to Kristina Edmundson with the AG's office, the sign also violates the "substantiation rule," which is set to go into effect April 3. It requires scientific evidence to support promotional health claims -- much like the one the Lumi store was claiming. 

“We were very pleased that the store was willing to remove their sandwich board sign when our investigator explained that it could be in violation of Oregon law," Edmundson said. "Unfortunately, the message is simple: There are no known cures for COVID-19. Please don’t try to sell something that suggests there are!”

The owner of the store told KGW News Wednesday they were not trying to be malicious in their advertising.

"Their concern was that our sign could be read that you could be immune from COVID, which wasn't our intent," she said. "Our heart is in the right place and we want to help people as much as we can."

The Attorney General's office has not had other complaints about coronavirus-related CBD advertising, but they have been asking Oregonians to remain vigilant about possible price gouging on basic goods during the pandemic, like toilet paper and soap. 

If something costs more than 15 percent than it usually does, that means it's being price gouged.

To report this, call 503-378-8442 or visit Oregon's Consumer Protection site.

GET THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THE CORONAVIRUS

People vulnerable to complications should follow the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to stay home as much as possible and avoid gatherings. Every resident should take these basic steps to protect those most at risk:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you feel ill.

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