For those fortunate enough to have the opportunity to frequent legal cannabis dispensaries, it’s not uncommon to receive a promotional text from a company every now and again. Dispensaries oftentimes send out text messages to clientele about current and new deals, incoming products and upcoming events. Whether it be a marijuana delivery service dropping a $20 credit into your account (“But hurry! This offer expires at 8 pm!”) or a dispensary informing you that all wax is 10% off for shatterday, businesses use text blasts to keep their customers and patients informed.
However, many of us have experienced the trouble of trying to unsubscribe from text message and/or email updates. Personally, I’ve been unsubscribing from emails from Canva, an online graphic design platform, for years now. I’m convinced their unsubscribe list is just actually a sign-up form, because damn.
A Denver man had enough of texting “STOP” and has filed a lawsuit against a local dispensary over what he is saying were unsolicited messages from the company. On March 16, Bryce Abbink said that he received the following message from Good Chemistry: “Take advantage of online ordering at Good Chemistry for express, in-store pickup. Click the link below to start your order. Reply STOP WS54 to cancel.” Good Chemistry operates four marijuana retail locations in Aurora and Denver.
Abbink states that after he received two more texts from Good Chemistry on March 18, he replied with the message to cancel further communications and claimed the company violated federal telemarketing law.
“The texts disturbed and interfered with Plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of his phone, in addition to the wear and tear on the phone’s hardware (including the phone’s battery) and the consumption of memory on Plaintiff’s phone,” Abbink wrote.
While Abbink says he was enrolled in Good Chemistry’s loyalty program, he claims that he never provided the company with the express written consent to send him texts or calls. Abbink says that Good Chemistry “invaded the personal privacy of Plaintiff” and “intentionally and repeatedly violated” the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
“The TCPA prohibits autodialed calls or text messages, as well as prerecorded calls,
unless made with the prior express consent of the called party, to any telephone number assigned to a cell phone or other mobile device (such as a pager), unless the calls or text messages are: (1) made for emergency purposes; (2) free to the end user and have been exempted by the Commission, subject to conditions prescribed to protect consumer privacy rights; or (3) made solely to collect debts “owed to or guaranteed by the United States,” states the Federal Communications Commission.
“Those contending that they have prior express consent to make robotexts to mobile
devices have the burden of proving that they obtained such consent,” says the organization. “The fact that a consumer’s wireless number is in the contact list of another person’s wireless phone does not, by itself, demonstrate consent to receive robotexts. Further, recipients may revoke their consent at any time using any reasonable method.”
State Rep. Steven L. Woodrow, D-Denver is representing Abbink in the class action lawsuit and is urging that the court order Good Chemistry to pay $500 for each violation and to rule that the company utilized federally restricted autodialing technology.
Good Chemistry was not immediately available for comment.