Jury’s pot verdict may slow copycat litigation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Analysts and industry lawyers says a Colorado jury likely threw cold water on a novel legal claim targeting cannabis companies with federal racketeering lawsuits.

A federal jury in Denver on Wednesday rejected a homeowners’ racketeering lawsuit alleging a marijuana farm’s odor devalued their property values and took away from their enjoyment of horseback riding.

It was the first lawsuit of its kind to reach a jury, and the case was closely watched by the marijuana industry, which remain illegal under federal law. Three other federal lawsuits are pending in California, Massachusetts and Oregon. Analysts and industry lawyers say the verdict could dissuade others from filing similar lawsuits, which are expensive to litigate.