Finding a common ground between public relations and legal issues can be a challenging endeavor. Emerging industries across the nation will face legal issues, and they will have to come up with a public relations game plan related to issues that will inevitably “crop up.”
As marijuana used for medical purposes increases in the United States, and with the legalization of the drug in states like Colorado, businesses selling the product are going to have to start thinking about what will happen if and when they find themselves in need of issuing a recall. Colorado companies have already had to issue recent recalls for some “bad” inventory. The first ever medical marijuana recall was issued by a Canadian cannabis company back in 2014 (Leaf Science, 2014).
Because the legalization of marijuana is a sensitive and controversial topic, public relations professionals and company managers must decide in advance how they want to approach the subject in the case of a recall. They must thoroughly understand state laws so as not to do anything illegal. It may even be wise of them to consult with a lawyer before making any comments. Being proactive and planning ahead will help new companies deal with issues when they arise and will hopefully help them to be able to salvage their reputation early on in the process.
Food for thought:
What would you do if you were in charge of one of these new companies facing a recall? Without clearly defined best practice standards, how would you decide the best plan of action? What if your state laws do not mandate a recall, but you know that you have sold a potentially harmful product to consumers?
Leaf Science. (2014, April 21). Health Canada Issues First-Ever Marijuana Recall On Batch Of Purple Kush. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from Leaf Science: http://www.leafscience.com/2014/04/21/health-canada-issues-first-ever-marijuana-recall-batch-purple-kush/