By: Lisl Dunlop, Barbara Samaniego, and Sam Sherman As more states and even the federal government move towards legalization, the cannabis industry continues to grow. As with other industries, increasing size and consolidation brings heightened scrutiny under the antitrust laws. While cannabis is no stranger to antitrust — in 2019, there were nine “second request” investigations into cannabis mergers from the Department of Justice — so far, lawsuits challenging cannabis companies for violating the antitrust laws have been rare. That may be changing. In 2021, a California jury handed down a $5 million verdict ($15 million when trebled) in a case against a group of medical marijuana collectives for conspiring to prevent a competitor from opening a competing dispensary. That case – Richmond Compassionate Care Collective v. Koziol – was brought in California state court under California’s Cartwright Act. A few weeks ago, True Social Equity in Cannabis (TSE) sued cannabis companies Akerna, Green Thumb Industries (GTI), Verano, Surterra, and ILDISP LLC (a joint venture between GTI and Verano) in the U.S. District Court in Illinois under the federal antitrust laws.
Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news, 05/25/2022 17:49:00