New lawsuit could threaten Oregon’s marijuana industry

Beavercreek, Ore. – Two Oregon property owners are hoping a novel legal maneuver could get rid of neighboring marijuana grows, or at least penalize them.

The Oregon/OregonLive reports Rachel McCart and Erin McCart own about 11 acres of in the community of Beavercreek, outside Oregon City.

They allege their neighbors are engaging in racketeering due to the cultivation and sale of marijuana, which–though legal in Oregon–is still federally banned.

The McCarts say businesses that deal in marijuana are criminal enterprises and should be liable for any damage caused by their activities.

A similar case out of Colorado could bode well for the McCarts’ case.

Last month, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Colorado ranchers have standing to invoke the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a federal law designed to combat organized crime.

Brian Barnes, a lawyer for the Safe Streets Alliance, told The Oregonian/OregonLive this could pose a threat to the marijuana industry.

According to Barnes, the 10th Circuit Court’s ruling “gives a green light to a property owner to seek damages if they’re adversely affected by a bad smell resulting from marijuana cultivation.”

Legal experts say the ruling doesn’t outline a specific case, rather a case based on the RICO Act could move forward.

You can read more about the McCarts’ lawsuit HERE.

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