CEO of company behind diet tea claims he had no idea it contained THC

ATLANTA — For the first time, we’re hearing from the CEO of a company behind a weight loss tea that people across the Atlanta metro say caused them to fail drug tests and lose their jobs.

We first told you about Total Life Changes (TLC) raspberry lemonade Iaso tea in May.

Women told Channel 2 Action News they thought they had nothing to worry about until they took a drug test.

[ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION: People warn of losing jobs, testing positive for THC after drinking tea that helps weight loss]

The women failed after the test showed them as positive for THC, the chemical that makes you high when you use marijuana.

Now, the company’s CEO tells WSOC-TV’s Allison Latos, who is from our sister station in Charlotte, that he had no idea there was any THC in the tea.

MORE 2 INVESTIGATES STORIES:

“What would you say to customers who say that their lives and livelihoods have been ruined by this? Is TLC going to help remedy this, help them get their jobs back?” Latos asked CEO Jack Fallon.

“Absolutely. Like I said, we are in constant communication with them. We are meeting in New York August 2 with a handful of them.”

Dozens of people claim using the company’s raspberry lemonade Iaso tea caused them to fail drug tests and lose their jobs.

That raspberry lemonade tea was marketed on the company’s website and on the label as having 0.0 percent THC. But an independent lab found trace amounts of THC.

The lab’s director said with repeated consumption, the THC could build up in a person’s system.

“Did you know there could be trace amounts in that product?” Latos asked Fallon.

[NEED 2 INVESTIGATES TO LOOK INTO A STORY? Submit a tip to Channel 2 Action News]

“No. We use third party manufacturers all over the world. We trusted them and obviously we got let down in some of these instances,” Fallon said.

Fallon said TLC stopped working with one of those manufacturers but some customers like Jennifer Montgomery say that’s not enough.

Montgomery says she drank the tea for nearly five months to lose weight then got a new job as a truck driver earlier this month. But she failed the drug test before she could even start.

“They don’t want to hear it. They have taken my license. Now they’re saying I have to go through some type of drug classes,” Montgomery said.

TLC and some of the customers suing them will be meeting with a mediator in New York next month.

TLC no longer advertises its raspberry lemonade tea as having 0.0 percent THC, and now includes a disclaimer saying people subject to drug testing should not take it.