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California Cannabis Grower Sues Another Under Federal Racketeering Statutes

This is the first time RICO has been brought by another cannabis company

In what may be a potential first for the marijuana industry, a Southern California cannabis farmer filed suit against another grower in federal court and is attempting to use anti-racketeering laws to back up the legal claims.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, Santa Barbara County businesswoman Francine Shulman and her company, Iron Angel, contend that the operators of Vertical Companies, a Los Angeles-based marijuana cultivation firm, defrauded her and stole her property.

The 126-page lawsuit outlines 25 different counts of alleged wrongdoing, ranging from conspiracy and racketeering to breach of contract and elder financial abuse – the latter charge because Shulman is a 66-year-old grandmother.


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