Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Federal Lawsuit In Arkansas Considering RICO Act: Is This The End Of Medical Marijuana In The State?

By Nicol√°s Jose Rodriguez

On August 4, a proposed initiative to legalize recreational marijuana was turned down by the State Board of Election Commissioners. The commissioners dismissed the amendment, with one of the main issues being the level of THC allowed in cannabis edibles. Now, THC levels are generating a new controversy over medical marijuana.

A federal lawsuit filed on July 12 in Little Rock, is now looking to use federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes, which were created to target organized crime. Arkansas is seeking to use RICO to go after medical marijuana suppliers in the state that allegedly sold cannabis with lower-than-advertised potency.

RELATED: Here’s Why Arkansas Gov. Opposes Legalizing Weed

Pete Edwards, Don Plumlee and Jakie Hanan, the plaintiffs, argue that at some point they bought medical marijuana that had THC 25% lower than what was advertised, and, asked to be ruled a class action, reported wreg.com

medical marijuana
Photo by Visivasnc/Getty Images

In addition, the plaintiffs argued that the marijuana business is subject to the federal RICO Act since large-scale marijuana production and sale is illegal under federal law.

‚ÄúIf successful, it could ultimately impact accessibility to medical marijuana in the state,‚ÄĚ reported local media.

RELATED: Medical Cannabis Businesses In Arkansas Sued For Inflating THC Levels

The lawsuit names California-based marijuana testing service Steep Hill, Inc. and its Arkansas subsidiary, Steep Hill Arkansas, the co-owners of Steep Hill Arkansas, Dr. Brandon Thorton and Brent Whittington, Osage Creek Cultivation, Bold Team LLC, and Natural State Medicinal.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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