California Cannabusinesses Risking Costly Infractions with Robocalls
In the age of smartphones, robocalls are more common than ever. But for California cannabusinesses, they could be costing them a lot more than just time.
Robocalls that violate TCPA’s requirements come with fines that range from $500 to $1,500 per call. One company in Oregon allegedly called 1.8 million times and was slapped with damages worth $925 million!
No one likes getting unsolicited phone calls, but they’re not just annoying. They can be costly to California cannabusinesses subject to the TCPA’s strict requirements of written consent before making a call.
The cannabis sector is especially susceptible to these class-action lawsuits because the space is new, and business operators don’t always know all of the rules. Then, the plaintiffs exploit these weaknesses.
The law can be interpreted in many ways, and it all depends on how the court views the auto-dialing. Hopefully, lower courts will hear these cases and interpret the high court’s ruling in the years to come. But we will need to wait to get this clarity.
At this point, the industry will have to negotiate. These negotiations will help business operators avoid class-action lawsuits and dodge millions in damages. Here’s what cannabusiness owners should do:
- Have an experienced attorney ready to combat the charges.
- Get written consent and permit opt-outs for promo texts.
- Standardize a company policy on the matter.
- Incorporate excellent recordkeeping practices.
- Check that your vendors are compliant.
For now, the safest way to go about making calls is to get expressed consent.
While it’s difficult to get this consent, it’s not impossible. Here are some ways you can get consent for your automated calls:
- Prominently display the opt-out and consent language in your marketing materials.
- Create an easy-to-use, self-service form for customers who want to opt in or out.
- Ask every customer at checkout if they would like to receive promotional texts or calls from you.
- Put these policies in writing and set up internal procedures.
If you’re unsure if your company is compliant, contact a lawyer to clarify the situation or consult with an expert who can help guide your business through this process. All in all, with the right expert leading your efforts, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding costly infractions.