Preparing for Marijuana Industry Lawsuit Tidal Wave: Limiting Exposure (Part 2)

By Hoban Law Group Senior Attorney Steve Schain. With Corona brewer and Robert Mondavi wine producer Constellation Brands Inc. investing $3.88 billion in grower Canopy Growth Corp. and the Wall Street Journal estimating 2018 U.S. legal marijuana sales at $10.2 billion, the writing’s on the wall: cannabis is big business and ripe for the plucking by the plaintiffs bar.

Lawsuits range from a single plaintiff seeking damages for personal injuries or property damage to class actions in which a defect is common to an entire group of claimants. Due to marijuana’s 100 percent federal illegality, even more is at risk. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 prohibits marijuana’s manufacture, distribution, dispensation and possession and lists it next to heroin as a Schedule I controlled substance having “a high potential for abuse,” 21 U.S.C. Sections 801, et. seq (1970) (Controlled Substance Act). Thus, claims may be brought against anyone in the marijuana industry’s supply chain touching the item prior to sale to the consumer; i.e., anyone planting, cultivating, harvesting, processing/extracting, testing, packaging, disposing, transporting and dispensing marijuana (hereafter, collectively referred to as marijuana related businesses).