Special Report

Cannabis and the Legal Industry: New Rules, New Risks, New Opportunities

The state-by-state legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use has created a complicated legal landscape—and with it new demands for lawyers to responsibly advise cannabis clients and companies in adjacent industries. This special report features Law.com's in-depth coverage of emerging legal issues, key regulatory developments, and the lawyers who are helping to shape a new industry.


Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Matthew J. Smith of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. Matthew J. Smith of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr.

With a growing number of states legalizing medical and adult-use marijuana, anti-cannabis plaintiffs have turned to innovative legal theories, including RICO racketeering and conspiracy claims, aimed at disrupting cannabis businesses. Over the past few years, RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. Sections 1961 et seq.) has become a novel tool for plaintiffs in civil actions against cannabis businesses in states including Oregon, Colorado, California, Massachusetts and New York. Because marijuana remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, state-legal marijuana businesses, by definition, involve racketeering activity in violation of RICO. Fortunately for the industry, plaintiffs have not seen much success in court so far. However, their failures have not deterred other plaintiffs from pursuing these claims, and the decisions disposing of many of these cases have simultaneously created blueprints on how new plaintiffs might succeed. Notably, the risks in these cases are high, with cannabis businesses and those associated with them facing mandatory treble damages and attorney fees. Until legalization takes place at the federal level, these claims will likely keep coming, and it is probably only a matter of time before the first succeeds.

This premium content is locked for
The Legal Intelligencer subscribers only.

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?
Interested in customizing your subscription with Law.com All Access?
Contact our Sales Professionals at 1-855-808-4530 or send an email to groupsales@alm.com to learn more.

Pennsylvania eDiscoveryBook

;pgt;The greatest challenge for attorneys dealing with eDiscovery is simply keeping up with changing rules and technologies. This handbook is designed to help attorneys p...
Get More Information


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2019 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.