After publishing test results that showed a CBD product being sold by two companies contained heavy metals, Project CBD, a California nonprofit, faced a libel lawsuit.
The appeals court decided on Friday that the companies didn’t show convincing evidence to prove that the tests were false. Medical Marijuana, Inc and HempMeds PX both were unable to disprove the report.
The report by Project CBD was released in October 2014 where Aaron Miguel Cantu, the author, presented test results saying that Real Scientific Hemp Oil contained heavy metals.
After both companies filed the libel suit, Project CBD asked to strike the libel claims. After being denied the nonprofit moved to appeal the decision. Now with the Fourth District Court of Appeal siding with the publisher of the report, the case is being returned to a lower court.
The ruling stated that the story that Cantu published did not claim that Real Scientific Hemp Oil contained contaminants, but that it described preliminary and final test results.
The court also sided with the nonprofit when it dismissed allegations that the story was claiming that people had already become ill when using the product.
“The article does not state anything that can be understood as asserting as fact that (the oil), in fact, caused multiple people to become ill,” the court said. “Rather, the article is clear that it is merely reporting what others have claimed regarding their experiences.”