There’s something rotten, it seems, in the state of CBD Naturals and its CBD-related claims.
When Jared Berry’s brand CBD Naturals was recently selected as the exclusive distributor of a premier hops/humulus CBD isolate in the United States, he may or may not have expected that he would soon be served with a lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes off the heels of a contentious debate about the origin and trademark rights to extracting CBD from hops (the process trademarked humulus kriya), for which credit is to go to Peak Health Center. The process proves to be promising for CBD medicine as it as a derivative of a legal substance, promising consumers access to CBD in states that have laws against hemp or cannabis CBD.
Peak Health Center is loudly disputing the claims by Berry and CBD Naturals, which the filed complaint cites as a Vancouver-based business under the publicly traded Isodiol International Inc. (OTC: “ISOLF”), that a signed agreement has allowed him to exclusively sell hops-derived CBD products, with Peak Health Center citing no such agreement in existence.
When contacted for comment, Isodiol International denies any relationship with Jared Berry or CBD Naturals. “Jared Berry is not an officer, director, or fiduciary of Isodiol, Iso LLC, or any of the Isodiol Companies,” says Mike Parmar of Isodiol Investor Relations. “Therefore, we presently do not have a role in the aforementioned lawsuit or any disputes between those parties.”
It does seem that Berry was a shareholder at one time according to a press release that stated he sold his shares. In addition to that, he appears in a video with CFN Media in which he identifies himself as the President of Isodiol. Peak Health also provided a Bloomberg company profile snapshot that listed Berry as being on the board of Isodiol. So, Isodiol seems to be distancing itself from Berry and Peak did not include Isodiol on the lawsuit, but there is still a well-documented connection.
Federal and State Offenses
The lawsuit of Peak Health Center vs. CBD Naturals includes several claims, including the federal offenses of trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, false representation, false advertising, and violations of California Business & Professional Code and Unfair Competition Law.
Peak Health Center, holder of the trademark for “ImmunAG™”, filed the claims following a press release from CBD Naturals announcing its exclusive distribution rights of hops/humulus CBD isolate.
“We are honored to be selected as the exclusive U.S. distributor and look forward to enhancing our growing product line,” said Jared Berry, who identifies as a member of the board of CBD Naturals, in the June press release that kicked off the lawsuit.
Considered a medical breakthrough for the cannabis industry, CBD Naturals claims their developments have led to products that are the first fully legal CBD products, and prides themselves on being the first company to trademark “CBD”.
According to the complaint documents, the dispute challenges an agreement that was signed between Isodiol and Peak Health Center to distribute ImmunAG™, which did not include any exclusivity rights. Following this agreement, Jared Berry was quoted in press releases saying that Isodiol scientists had developed the kriya product. This was contrary to any agreement signed by Peak Health Center as to the origins of the hops-derived CBD trademark, and the exclusivity of the distribution rights to Isodiol.
“We are not aware of any intellectual properties in which Peak Health claims an interest being unlawfully used or relied upon by Jared Berry or the unknown entity referred to as CBD Naturals,” said Isodiol’s Parmar.
Peak Health Center, in their filing, calls Berry’s words “false and misleading to trade and consumers”.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. is now the company’s only US distributors. According to this article on Seeking Alpha, Medical Marijuana lost several employees to Isodiol so there seems to be quite a bit of bad blood between these two companies.
A Strange Saga Unfolds
Following the press release, Dr. Bomi Joseph, one of the defendants in the lawsuit later filed against Berry and CBD Naturals, reportedly tried to connect with Berry to discuss the use of the kriya trademark. “I thought ‘this must be an understanding, maybe the press got it wrong,” says Dr. Bomi of Peak Health Center. “My friend then sent me Isodiol’s press release with these claims and I tried to get in touch with the company but they went dark. This is what caused me to terminate my contract with them,” he describes of the time after the press release came out.
“Months later I received the CBD Naturals press release claiming that they were selling ‘CBD from Hops.’ We don’t use the terminology “Hops derived CBD” but it is clearly meant to refer to our product. We also have the trademark for “Kriya” and that trademark was violated by Jared Berry and CBD Naturals. I sent [Jared Berry] a “cease and desist” via email but never heard back. My lawyers tried to contact him several times but to no avail.”
Peak Health Center noted in a press release that “only press releases issued, jointly or singly, by Peak Health should be considered an authentic press release on Hops/Humulus derived CBD.”
“Peak Health has to protect both its trademarks and intellectual property – we hope that both CBD Naturals and Isodiol understands that,” says Bomi, “At this moment we do not have any new extracts planned for trademark but we hope to continue to do plant-based research and find other CBD solutions in the future.”
Isodiol is clear that they are not affiliated with CBD Naturals or Jared Berry: “To the extent, Peak Health has made fact allegations that reference Isodiol, Iso LLC, or any of the Isodiol Companies, there are many factual inaccuracies contained in the complaint.”
“While Isodiol continues to believe there are interesting opportunities concerning hops-derived cannabinoids and other medicinal compounds, such as beta-caryophyllene,” says Parmar, “Isodiol chose to shift its focus away from hops sources because the company believes there are less costly and more readily available opportunities with industrial hemp and cannabis, which are being bolstered by new positive legal developments on a regular basis.”
Where Is Jared Berry?
Recent reports from Peak Health is that Jared Berry remains somewhat enigmatic after being served. One source said he is apparently “hiding out” in an RV outside the CBD Naturals Building. While he will not respond to Peak Health Center, he is reportedly taking meetings and phone calls.
This strange lawsuit saga seems to be a game of “he said, he said, he said”, as the origin of the trademark for kriya is determined and exactly who is involved in the claimed trademark infringement.