Lawsuit Paints Marijuana Cultivators and Dispensaries as Racketeers – Arkansas Business Online

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As Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry looks to a possible vote on recreational sales this fall, a new federal lawsuit challenges its very existence.

A lawsuit seeking class-action status filed July 12 accuses Arkansas cannabis cultivators and testers of fraud, and calls for shutting down all medical marijuana businesses as parts of a racketeer-influenced criminal enterprise.

Benton lawyer Luther O. Sutter filed the action in federal court in Little Rock, accusing cultivators Bold Team LLC, Natural State Medicinal Cultivation and Osage Creek Cultivation LLC of fraud in selling marijuana that was less potent than advertised.

Also named as defendants are testing companies Steep Hill Inc. of Berkeley, California, and Steep Hill Arkansas of Little Rock, accused of giving falsely high THC readings to marijuana products. The suit names Arkansas marijuana patients Don Plumlee, Jakie Hanan and Pete Edwards as plaintiffs, and asks that all similar buyers be made into a class of plaintiffs.

The complaint paints the entire Arkansas medical cannabis system as a racketeering activity subject to triple damages, and it seeks an injunction directing all cultivators and dispensaries to stop sales.

Cultivators and Steep Hill dismissed the charges as baseless,

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