People warn of losing jobs, testing positive for THC after drinking tea that helps weight loss

ATLANTA — Local people who drank a herbal tea that is supposed to help with weight loss told Channel 2 Action News it caused them to lose their jobs by failing a drug test.

Total Life Changes (TLC) makes a raspberry lemonade Iaso tea that claimed it contained zero percent THC on the label.

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

“I had finally landed the dream job,” said Kim Agnew-Edwards of College Park. She worked in the airline industry for 20 years and finally landed a job with Delta Airlines.

“I was on top of the clouds,” said Agnew-Edwards.

She was furloughed during the pandemic and started selling TLC tea to make ends meet. The raspberry lemonade Iaso tea was popular with people who wanted to lose weight.

Agnew-Edwards even started drinking it.

“I lost 20 pounds, so I was excited,” she said.

Agnew-Edwards got the call to come back to her old job at Delta. But first, she had to take a drug test, and she failed it. “I almost hung up on her. She got the wrong number,” Agnew-Edwards said. She tested positive for marijuana. “I was like, this, literally no way. I said, ‘Ma’am I don’t smoke. I’m very health conscious. That’s not something that I do,’” said Agnew-Edwards.

She lost her dream job.

MORE STORIES FROM 2 INVESTIGATES:

“I was standing in my kitchen. My knees buckled. I was literally to the point of fainting,” said Agnew-Edwards.

A family member showed her a story on the website of our sister TV station in Charlotte about how the TLC raspberry lemonade tea may have caused people to fail a drug test. She thought of the countless other people who bought the tea from her.

“Lot of emotions exploded in me. And by the evening time, I was angry. And now, I’m ready to fight,” said Agnew-Edwards.

She is not the only person to fail a drug test after drinking the tea. “It’s more than a dozen,” said attorney Kate Hollist, who is representing D’etta Friday of Hickory, North Carolina.

Friday also drank the tea to lose weight. She worked in a factory, having moved off welfare and trying to be a positive influence for her two daughters.

After an accident at work, Friday took a drug test, failed and lost her job. “I’m like, ‘Listen. I do not do drugs. I’m a minister. I do all kinds of stuff for my community. I do not do drugs, and I’m an advocate against,’” said Friday.

Our sister TV station in Charlotte, WSOC-TV,  had an independent lab run tests on two samples to see if they contained THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes you high. Even though the product label indicated there is zero percent THC, the lab found enough THC for someone to fail a drug test.

Hollist is filing one of three class action lawsuits against TLC.

“What we’re looking for is both justice for those individuals who have been particularly wronged — people like D’etta, who have lost their livelihoods,” said Hollist.

The class action lawsuit also includes people who bought the tea thinking it had zero percent THC.

Channel 2 asked TLC for an interview and received this statement:

“We are in the process of learning more of the relevant facts. We are not yet in a position to comment more fully.”

TLC removed the zero percent THC from the new packaging. But a Channel 2 producer ordered the raspberry tea still labeled zero percent THC from a TLC preferred customer in March.

Agnew-Edwards said she still sells TLC products to make ends meet, but she refuses to sell the raspberry tea. “I won’t give it to anybody. Not a soul. I won’t sprinkle it in my grass,” said Agnew-Edwards.

Our sister TV station in Dayton, Ohio, noticed the zero percent THC is back on the packaging.  But the raspberry tea is no longer being sold on the TLC website in the U.S.  However, some individuals and websites are still selling the raspberry tea.