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Cannabis Odor Lawsuit Goes to Trial in Colorado

A lawsuit filed by horse ranchers against a Colorado cannabis grow is going to trial today and could yield important repercussions for cannabis businesses throughout the U.S., Westword reports.

The lawsuit, which aims to use the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against state-legal cannabis businesses, was filed on behalf of horse ranchers Phillis Windy Hope Reilly and Michael P. Reilly against cannabis cultivator Rocky Mountain Organics by Safe Streets Alliance, a national anti-cannabis organization.

If successful, the suit could send a chillingly blunt message to the cannabis community while galvanizing its opponents into further action.

The suit lays out the following arguments:

  • “Growing recreational marijuana is ‘noxious, annoying or offensive activity’ [sic] by virtually any definition because marijuana plants are highly odorous, and their offense smell [sic] travels long distances.”
  • The Rocky Mountain Organics grow site is also a high-risk target for theft and could lead to a local hike in crime.
  • The sight of an under-construction building was an eye-sore that “exacerbates the injury, for when the Reillys and their children visit the property, they are reminded of the racketeering enterprise next door every time they look to the west.”

Note: the plaintiffs do not live on the property in question, they just like to hike and ride horses there.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2015 but was dismissed by a federal district court and the Rocky Mountain Organics grow site officially launched in 2016. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, reopened the case in June 2017.

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