A trial in a federal court in Denver could shake up the marijuana industry as we know it.
Michael and Phillis Reilly, two ranchers from Colorado City filed the suit in 2015 with help from the Safe Streets Alliance against their neighbor Parker Walton and his Cannacraft grow house.
The could had sought a court injunction at first to stop marijuana legalization under Amendment 64. Co-defendants named in the trial are Pueblo County, the Board of County Commissioners, the State Colorado and Governor John Hickenlooper.
The Reillys have complained that the value of their property was damaged by Walton and Cannacraft because of odors emitted by the grow house and that the building blocks their view.
“Part of what they’ll need to prove here is that either their land value has gone down, the value of their property that they own which is next to this marijuana supply operation, and that’s because of the smell, among other reasons,” said Vanderbilt University Law Professor Robert Mikos.
If the Reillys win over the jury, this could be an expensive verdict. “There’s no question that this company has violated the federal RICO statute,” Mikos said. “In fact, every state-licensed marijuana business in the country, I think it’s safe to say, is violating the RICO statute.”
According to Mikos, the marijuana industry should expect more lawsuits if the Reilly’s prevail.
“People are going to be watching this claim and if it ultimately prevails, you may see more copycat lawsuits brought elsewhere based on the same sort of allegations.”