Lawsuit over pot, property values could have broad impact

The trial marks the first time a jury will consider using federal racketeering law to target cannabis companies.

Posted: Oct. 29, 2018 7:31 AM

DENVER (AP) - A federal trial in Colorado could have far-reaching effects on the budding U.S. marijuana industry if a jury sides with a couple who say having a cannabis business as a neighbor hurts their property's value.

Vulnerability to similar lawsuits is among the many risks facing marijuana businesses licensed by states but still violating federal law. Complaints using the same strategy have been filed in California, Massachusetts and Oregon.

The question now is whether jurors buy the argument.

The trial set to begin Monday in Denver is the first time a jury will consider a lawsuit using federal racketeering law to target cannabis companies. The marijuana industry has watched the case closely since attorneys with a Washington D.C.-based firm filed it in 2015 on behalf of Hope and Michael Reilly.

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