A California state appeals court affirmed a bong maker’s win in a suit alleging it violated California’s Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) by failing to warn consumers that its products expose them to marijuana smoke that could cause cancer or reproductive harm.
Prop. 65 is a California initiative approved by voters in 1986 and enacted into law as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act that same year. The law prohibits knowingly and intentionally causing exposure to substances, including cannabis smoke and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that are known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm, without first providing a clear and reasonable warning. California maintains a list of substances that trigger Prop. 65 warnings. To comply with Prop. 65, businesses must provide consumers with a compliant warning, unless they can ensure that their product does not expose consumers to a listed substance at levels that may cause cancer or reproductive harm.
Plaintiff-appellant Environmental Health Advocates, Inc. (EHA) filed a private enforcement action against Sream, Inc. (Sream) on November 12, 2020, alleging Sream violated Prop. 65 when Sream failed to provide a warning that their water pipe products—more commonly known as bongs—exposed consumers to marijuana smoke. EHA’s enforcement action sought “injunctive relief against Sream, from manufacturing, importing, selling, and/or distributing the products without a clear and reasonable warning.”