A few years ago, a trend began to emerge — driven by the anti-cannabis lobby — of civil claims being asserted against state-licensed cannabis operators under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The suits were brought in an attempt to curtail operators’ state-legal cannabis activities based on the allegation that such activities violated the federal Controlled Substances Act and thereby satisfied the predicate act requirement under RICO.
In all such cannabis-related RICO cases, the plaintiffs’ bid for a civil judgment failed, and the trend of civil RICO claims against cannabis operators seemed to vanish as quickly as it appeared.
Recently, a putative class action, Plumlee v. Steep Hill Inc., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas against four state-licensed cannabis operators, asserting civil RICO claims arising out of allegations that the operators falsified the amount of THC in their cannabis products.
To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Ethan Feldman and Seth Goldberg, please visit the firm website.