FOX 13 Investigation: Customers across the country complain about Utah companies selling health products
Dozens of customers from across the country have filed complaints against an online company in Utah, accusing them of taking their money and sending them nothing in return.
TerraPure Botanicals, which has its address listed in Draper, sells its own brand of CBD oil on the internet.
Kathy Nicholson, who has never been to Draper, said she bought a sample online because she didn’t want to take hydrocodone anymore to treat her neck and shoulder pain.
“I live in Gastonia, North Carolina,” she told FOX 13.
Nicholson said, after she ordered the sample, she was automatically billed for a full shipment. After finding charges adding up to $106.72 on her credit card statement, she said she still received nothing.
“No, I didn’t even get the sample,” she said. “I told them I hope they couldn’t sleep at night for what they’re doing, but they didn’t seem to care… I hope you find out if you’re able to even talk to anybody. They might not talk to you either!”
In an attempt to track down the company and get answers, FOX 13 went to the address listed for TerraPure Botanicals in Draper. All we could find was a house and front door overgrown with vines, with nobody home.
A quick Google search for TerraPure Botanicals finds the first three results are more complaints, filed with the Better Business Bureau. Dozens of people with the same story as Nicholson said they were upset with TerraPure Botanicals and another company called TerraPure Oils, based in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
A representative with TerraPure Oils said the two companies are the same and that they sell multiple products, all from the same parent company. The other products include “Keto Rapid Diet” pills and “Herbalist Oils.”
Keto Rapid Diet lists its address at a home in Eagle Mountain, Utah.
“As I am reading all the reviews for this company, I swear I am reading my own story. I too ordered from this company,” wrote Cammy Sowle on the BBB website. “I told them I never received both products and wanted an immediate refund. I repeated my situation so many times to the rep on the phone and he never had a clue what I was saying. Dealing with an idiot makes it even harder. I asked to speak to a supervisor continually throughout the phone call. He repeatedly refused to get me one… I hope I get my money back truly.”
FOX 13 spoke to a manager over the phone named Natalie, who claimed she was at the store’s location in Draper. She refused to give details about the company’s address or owner, stating she was not authorized to release that information for privacy reasons.
“Do you actually sell CBD oil, or is that just to get people’s credit card information?” reporter Adam Herbets asked.
“Have you ever spoken to an actual customer of ours?” Natalie responded. “Because they would verify they have received a product from us.”
Again, Nicholson said she has never received anything.
“Well if they’re going to continue to do what they’re doing, they don’t need to be in business,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get anything from these people, but I don’t want to see them doing it to any other people.”
Eventually, a man named Jorge Montoya, who identified himself as the director of OPUS Products, called FOX 13 stating he was in Canada. He said OPUS Products is the parent company for TerraPure Botanicals but has nothing to do with any other company – including TerraPure Oils.
Montoya said his file shows the product was delivered to Nicholson and that he’s not sure why she never received it. He promised to look into the problem and give Nicholson a full refund.
As for the other BBB reviews, Montoya said he believes people may have mistaken his company with TerraPure Oils.
Montoya also said the previous manager we spoke to, Natalie, lied when she claimed she was in Draper, because there is no storefront in Draper.
Stay with FOX 13 for continuing updates on this story.
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The Black Hawk County Attorney has his doubts that items in a CBD vending machine actually contain CBD.
Channel 13 first brought you the story Thursday night.
The vending machine located near the UNI campus in Cedar Falls sells a variety of THC-free products.
You must scan your ID and can only make a purchase if you are over 18 years old.
When asked about the legality of the products, Black Hawk County Attorney Brian Williams said, “We do not know if the claimed CBD product is in fact CBD. If it is CBD, it is illegal, regardless of THC content.”
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Confusion over state law may be behind the expansion of an illegal activity in Iowa.
The Story County Attorney made it clear last month, any products containing CBD regardless of the level of THC are illegal. The Webster County Attorney says Iowans must refrain from marketing, selling, distributing or possessing CBD oil. Yet in Black Hawk County, you can now purchase CBD from a vending machine in Cedar Falls.
“It’s the first machine in the world,” owner Corey Coleman said. The Care By CBD vending machine holds an array of CBD products. A few taps on the screen, and a swipe of a card and a CBD is available in minutes. The “smart” machine allows owner Corey Coleman to track his customers.
“So we can learn about our customers through their buying process; male, female, age and time of day,” Coleman said.
Coleman says providing this product, hits close to home.
“The changing the person one day at a time started with my girlfriend’s daughter Evie who we lost to cancer on her fourth birthday. We used these products to reduce a number of medications she was taking at that time,” Coleman said.
But is it legal?
Two other Iowa counties sent warnings to businesses telling them that under state law all CBD products, regardless of THC level, must come from one of the state approved dispensaries.
“I am not an attorney you would have to take that up with them,” Coleman said.
Coleman says police have been to the vending machine before, and everything seems to check out.
“The police were here and they understand the legality of it and there was no issue at that time, and I don’t suspect we will be having any problems,” Coleman said.
We reached out to Cedar Falls city officials, the Cedar Falls Police Department, and the Black Hawk County Attorney for comment and haven’t heard back.
DENVER – Carl’s Jr. is testing out a cannabis burger to stay at the forefront of the CBD trend.
The chain said Wednesday it will sell the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight burger at one location in Denver, Colorado for just one day (April 20th, of course). The burger features a sauce infused with CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive hemp derivative.
Though the promotion is limited, it’s not a stunt. The burger chain is using the test to determine whether a CBD burger belongs on its permanent menu, said Patty Trevino, senior vice president of brand marketing for Carl’s Jr.
“It is something that feels right for the brand,” she told CNN Business. “We are all about innovation.”
Food, beverage and other consumer goods companies have been trying to figure out how to capitalize on growing interest in ingredients like CBD. Consumers are increasingly seeking products that offer an extra something, like increased energy or better gut health. CBD may fit the bill: Some studies suggest the CBD can help treat inflammation, pain, anxiety and seizures. Carl’s Jr. isn’t promoting any possible functional benefits of CBD, Trevino said.
Carl’s Jr. is hoping to please their customers, whom Trevino said tend to be interested in new trends. It’s also chasing “future Carl’s Jr. customers that are younger,” said Trevino. “They are more open to different flavors of products,” as well as benefits trendy ingredients may offer.
The chain first decided to explore CBD in January, after introducing a product based on another trend. Earlier this year, the chain announced a plant-based alternative to its signature burger in partnership with Beyond Meat.
“I was sitting down with our head chef Owen Klein, and we were talking about trends,” Trevino said. After the Beyond Meat launch, they came up with a wish list that included a CBD product. “We looked at ourselves and said, ‘You know what, let’s try.’”
CBD is an attractive new ingredient for companies, but they have to act carefully because regulation around use of the ingredient is ill-defined. Hemp was legalized nationally last year as part of the Farm Bill, but the Food & Drug Administration still hasn’t decided how to regulate CBD products. In a March interview with Brookings Institution, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said it could take several years before the agency fully legalizes CBD for use in food products and dietary supplements.
Starting small, in a market where cannabis regulation is “really strong,” will allow Carl’s Jr. to figure out how to move forward. Testing CBD could give the company an edge over competitors, because most of its locations are in Western states, where recreational cannabis is legal.
Because Carl’s Jr. decided to test in just one location on one day, it was able to bring a product to customers very quickly. The chain partnered with Bluebird Botanicals, a Colorado-based company that sells CBD oil and capsules, for the test.