Rival cannabis edibles companies Wana Brands and Kiva Confections are warning consumers about online scammers that steal money or sell wares illegally, often at marked-up prices.
Wana and Kiva have banding together amount to launch CannabisSafetyTips.com to help shoppers avoid rip-offs.
As category leaders — the Coke and Pepsi — in the world of cannabis edibles, Wana Brands and and Kiva Confections have teamed up to educate consumers about fake online business accounts, unregulated online products and scammers asking to share financial information.
Here’s four steps they’re promoting to avoid losing money or buying fake products:
- Buy in a state with legalized cannabis sales: Wana, Kiva and other edible brands containing THC arenot allowed to be mailed to other states. They’re only sold in licensed dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal, with some local deliveries available in some markets. ?Wana and Kiva both list states where their products are sold legally on their websites.?
- Buy from a licensed dispensary: Wana and Kiva products sold in unlicensed dispensaries are either counterfeit or have crossed state lines illegally and may be tampered with. Check with state regulators or review the license of a given dispensary.
- Protect your financial ID: Wana and Kiva never use social media to request your personal financial information. Verify social media pages from Wana and Kiva by going to the company websites and clicking through to social pages via buttons on their home pages.
- Confirm social handles: Wana’s Instagram handle is @wanabrands and follow Kiva at @madebykiva and @lostfarmbykiva. Scammers will try to come up with slightly different spellings of these handles. Wana and Kiva websites will provide a direct link to a backup account if a website is temporarily taken down.
Kiva and Wana are working with cannabis educator and social media influencer?@JungleCae for a series to help people spot scammers and shop safely.?
“It’s sad what’s going on — it reminds me of the early days of the internet,” said Kristi Knoblich Palmer, co-founder and president of Kiva Confections.
Joe Hodas, chief marketing officer of Wana Brands, said scammers often approach people on social media with profiles made to look like they’re legitimate and then start asking for personal financial information or offers to buy products that turn out to be counterfeit.
“It’s very easy to get fooled,” Hodas said.