Three Arkansas medical marijuana patients have brought a federal racketeering RICO lawsuit against four licensed medical Cannabis companies operating in the state. They allege those companies conspired to falsely inflate THC levels on the labels of products sold to patients.
The cultivation companies in question are growers Bold, Osage Cultivation, and Natural State Medicinal. The potency testing laboratory is Steep Hill Arkansas (and its national parent company Steep Hill Inc.).
Plaintiffs Don Plumlee, Jakie Hanan and Pete Edwards are all Arkansas medical marijuana patients. “Some marijuana was more potent than others,” they noticed, ”despite being labeled as having similar amounts of THC.”
Law360 first reported the lawsuit. Plaintiffs independently tested product from licensed dispensaries. They found THC levels inflated by an average of 25%.
Plaintiffs Allege Growers Worked With Steep Hill
The RICO elements of this lawsuit came into play, plaintiffs allege, when growers worked in concert with Steep Hill Arkansas. In so doing, allege the growers, they meant to generate labels with higher THC results.
“Defendants used the telephone, email, or other communication facilities to take steps in furtherance of their efforts to unlawfully sell marijuana that had been mislabeled hundreds of times,” the lawsuit claims.
Implicit in the lawsuit is the matter of THC levels driving sales in most, if not all, cannabis markets. The plaintiffs say higher THC levels equate to higher sales, and inflating those levels will lead to consistently higher sales.
Plaintiffs Cite Federal Illegality Under CSA
The plaintiffs claim all activity in Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry violates the federal Controlled Substances Act, reports Benzinga.
“The large-scale manufacture and distribution of marijuana is a serious felony under the CSA,” according to the plaintiffs. “Each Plaintiff files this suit to vindicate the federal laws prohibiting the cultivation and sale of marijuana and their rights under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).
It seems rather disingenuous to us, to register as a medical marijuana patient under Arkansas law, then sue the companies providing medical marijuana to Arkansas patients.