In 1912, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) was founded to provide consumers with protection and to self-regulate various industries.

105 years later, the BBB has gone back to its original motives and has begun to regulate the marijuana industry, assuring consumers are not getting beaten by fraudulent online scams.

Having received a tip through a service BBB created called Scamtracker, the Bureau stepped up to the plate and began investigating two web-based businesses. Those businesses were Denver Marijuana and Denver Smoke Buds.

The investigation they ran found that the fake companies claimed to be selling a large amount and variety of substances like bath salts (the drug for notoriously making people eat others faces) and “research chemicals”, as well as some marijuana products.

First, they checked out the business addresses, which didn’t compute in any system, as well as their hyperlinks leading to false addresses.

Krista Ferndelli, director of marketing and communications for the BBB of Denver stated in a press release that “One huge red flag for us is when there is no link to register with the Colorado Secretary of State. Both of these places show no owner, no managing staff, and have some sketchy information about where they are based.”

The first of the two, Denver Smoke Buds, claims in some places on its website to be based out of Atlanta, Georgia, while on other pages it claims to be based out of Denver.

“Whenever we called them, they would deliberately hang up. They also list themselves as winners of fake awards on their website.” Ferndelli said.

The BBB speaks to consumers and says that mail-order weed is very illegal on all state and federal levels and one should go through the process legally if they went to obtain marijuana.

“The BBB can always be a good way to check if a business is legitimate,” Ferndelli suggested. “Make sure to listen to other people in the marketplace and try to understand the laws surrounding marijuana.”

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