Senators Want Feds To Make Sure Dispensary Cannabis Is Safe CATO Institute- Republicans and Federal Marijuana Policy Cannabis growers are trying to adapt to plunging retail prices Cannabis Compounds Could Replace Anti-Anxiety Meds Why Trump Can’t Beat Cannabis 98% of Americans live in a state with some form of Legal Cannabis Cannabis Prices Rocket in Nevada as Shortage Continues Cannabis Industry Statistics Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Cannabis Should Be Legal RICO Lawsuit Threatens Cannabis Industry Cannabis May Ease Nerve Pain – Study Legal Cannabis States Try To Slow Smuggling Cannabis Popularity Continues to Grow Among Adults NBA Star Zach Randolph Arrested On Marijuana Charges During Mob Fracas Even With Legal Cannabis, California’s Black Market Will Remain Huge NFL to work with players’ union to study marijuana for pain How California Can Utilize Surplus Cannabis As Trump wages war on legal weed, military veterans side with cannabis There Are More Legal Cannabis Workers Than There Are Dental Hygienists Cannabis or Marijuana? High Hopes Ride on Cannabis Amid Opioid Crisis Jesse Ventura Is Fighting To Legalize Marijuana California expands marijuana rules, will allow deliveries Study: Cannabis users tend to be more successful, happy Cannabis could be a $5-billion boon to the state — but many users may stay illegal Rescheduling Marijuana: How it Works California could be a ‘sanctuary state’ from federal cannabis laws Older Women and Medical Cannabis: A Growth Industry France to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession, Interior Minister Says Epilepsy drug derived from marijuana is close to federal approval Vermont Governor Rejects Marijuana Bill, Wants Changes Marijuana App ‘WeGrow’ Wants To Bring Flower To The People States move fast to protect marijuana industry American Legion to Trump: Allow cannabis research for vets Washington law paves way for organic marijuana market Oregon Economic Forecast Includes Marijuana For The First Time No sanctuary for cannabis in California New Jersey mom turns marijuana into money Women have lead role in new marijuana businesses in Washington State Want to be a budtender? Here’s How. Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain Trump Rejects Congress as He Signals Medical Marijuana Fight The Cannabis Industry Is Getting Super-Sized 87% Of Players Say NFL Should Allow Medical Marijuana Access Pot brownies could lose potency under proposed California rules Cannabis Prices Get Higher After Recovering From 2016 Bust Study proves the importance of using Medical Cannabis The Trump crackdown on legal marijuana might not happen Varying marijuana laws pose questions for air travelers Marijuana – Miracle treatment for children with autism Marijuana workers get the California seal of approval Is Legal Marijuana the Last Bipartisan Cause in America? Marijuana activists vow to smoke and get arrested on steps of U.S. Capitol Most Americans Support Pro Athletes Using Marijuana for Pain Relief California Cannabis Is Going Industrial Trump’s drug czar pick has strong “no” vote record on marijuana Billions In Marijuana Taxes Are Addictive To State Governors The Holy Land of Medical Marijuana Oregon lawmakers vote to block cannabis users’ info from feds Marijuana legalization grows closer with Senate tax proposal Jerry Jones’s marijuana proposal could save NFL players’ lives The problem with America’s marijuana DUI laws John Oliver – Update Federal Marijuana Laws The way people buy legal marijuana will change in 2019 DOJ Wants Information On Colorado Marijuana Cases Oregon lawmakers introduce laws to protect legal recreational marijuana Public support for legal marijuana surged in 2016 Federal Marijuana Hostility Wrong Addiction Specialists Ponder a Potential Aid: Marijuana Dozens of industries could see a boost from legal marijuana Oregon May Declare Emergency Over Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Threats Maximizing the Medical Effects of Marijuana Marijuana Legalization Opponents Were Wrong Oxford University announces new £10m medical marijuana research program Pro-marijuana church in Alabama: Members tout ‘God and cannabis’ Every State Could Legalize Marijuana by 2021- The Motley Fool 25% of US beer drinkers have switched to marijuana or would if it was legal Colorado Rep. Jared Polis has a plan to keep marijuana safe from Sessions Good science on marijuana is hard to find Jeff Sessions: Marijuana Is “Only Slightly Less Awful” Than Heroin Federal Marijuana Crimes Drop For Fifth Consecutive Year Jeff Sessions Will Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws In An ‘Appropriate Way’ Beer Industry Could Lose $2 Billion From Legal Marijuana Pot for pets: Owners treat sick animals with marijuana Marijuana Legalization Hasn’t Increased Traffic Fatalities Don’t let Big Marijuana prioritize profits over public safety The future of recreational marijuana in Trump’s America Idaho customers breathe life into tiny Oregon marijuana town Elizabeth Warren to Jeff Sessions “Respect state marijuana law” Doctors warn against teen pot use as marijuana laws loosen Will Edible And Concentrate Marijuana Brands Get As Big As Budweiser? Marijuana Industry To Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing By 2020 California Marijuana Is Not Safe to Smoke California marijuana tax and tracking systems behind schedule Republican Introduces “The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act” Why the Legal Marijuana Industry Is Suddenly Worried Military Veterans With PTSD Begin Marijuana Clinical Trials Marijuana Drug Could Extend Lives of Brain Cancer Patients, Study Finds Contaminated Medical Marijuana Believed To Have Killed California Cancer Patient Marijuana lobby goes mainstream

RICO Lawsuit Threatens Cannabis Industry

Cannabis Industry

cannabis industry

In Beavercreek, Oregon, sits a beautiful patch of 11 acres with horses and forestland that is adjacent to two properties that cannabis industry producers have been using to cultivate crops since late 2014. Now the owners of the land have filed suit in federal court against their neighbors over the alleged nuisance and threatening behavior by the cannabis growers.

It may seem like a relatively small thing, the type of neighbor-to-neighbor squabble that happens every single day across the country. But the lawsuit filed by Erin and Rachel McCart threatens to open a relative Pandora’s box of legal complexities.

The McCarts’ case is unique because they’re attempting to use Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes to go after 43 defendants, including growers, processors, dispensaries and even their financier, Bank of America.

The strategy goes like this: Growing marijuana may be legal under Oregon state law, but it remains a violation involving the cultivation of a Schedule I drug federally. Therefore, without even requiring the Feds to do a thing, the plaintiffs can use RICO (which was designed to ensnare everyone involved in an organized crime outfit) to rope in everyone in the cannabis industry supply chain, from the producer to the consumers.

This isn’t the first time the clever strategy has been used and, the first time, it survived some fierce litigation. The case, also brought by ranch owners against nearby farms in Colorado, was dismissed; however, it came back to life via the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court decision this past June. The way is now clear for the case to be heard, which could have enormous ramifications for the whole industry.

In both the Colorado and Oregon cases, the crux of the claims rests on the idea that the cannabis farms are lowering the ranches’ property values. Setting precedent here, especially using RICO, would be ground-shaking for the industry, and could start a scramble for new land to cultivate. Currently, anyone with a few acres of arable land can get in on the growing and potentially sell to local dispensaries or keep it for personal use. Now imagine there’s a legal precedent that allows neighbors to sue because the smell lowers their property values, and they can extend that suit to everyone in the supply chain that has touched the product. And since it’s a RICO case, the plaintiff can collect damages in treble. It would threaten to eliminate all residential and small grow operations located anywhere even close to another property owner.

“This is basically a road map for people who own property that is near (a marijuana facility) … for how to bring a federal suit to get relief,” Brian W. Barnes, an attorney for the ranch owners in the Colorado case, told The Cannabist in an interview after their big appeals win.

In the case of the McCarts, the suit names two of Portland’s larger dispensary chains, Chalice Farms and Nectar. It shines a light on the dangerous levels of vertical integration in the cannabis industry; if someone were to trace the financials back up the chain, they’d find Oregon’s dispensaries are owned by a much smaller number of people than they think. A lot of investors own multiple, seemingly competing dispensaries in the same market space, and a successful precedent like a RICO suit winning in federal court could have a domino effect, toppling the entire cannabis industry.

More from


Leave a Reply