LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas lawsuit in federal court claims that testing labs are inflating the potency numbers of medical marijuana, making it more expensive.
The lawsuit was brought by the same plaintiffs and law firms that had filed a suit in July alleging marijuana testing potency inflation and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Both sides moved for dismissal of that case in February.
The new lawsuit was filed in February, shortly after the previous case’s dismissal. While it does not claim a violation of RICO, it does claim that marijuana is being sold with a lower-than-advertised potency in violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jakie Hann, a medical marijuana user in Arkansas.
The new suit was originally filed in Pulaski County. Lawyers for the defendants transferred the lawsuit from Pulaski County Circuit Court to federal court on March 31.
The suit names Steep Hill as a testing lab that inflates numbers. Medical marijuana providers prefer a lab that rates their product with higher potency so they can charge a higher price, the suit alleges.
The suit also names the owners of the California-based Steep Hill and three medical marijuana cultivators in the state: Osage Creek Cultivation LLC, Bold Team LLC and NSMC-OPCO LLC doing business as Natural State Medicinal.
According to the lawsuit, Hanan noticed that some marijuana was less potent than others despite being labeled as having similar amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
“Due to inconsistency in potency, the products were unable to reliably provide Plaintiff [Hanan] the relief he expected,” the suit states.
The suit states Hanan had the marijuana tested at a second lab where the alleged potency difference was found.
The lawsuit asks for jury trial. A trial date has not been set, and earlier this week attorneys for the defense moved for the case to be dismissed.
The judge has not ruled on the request for dismissal.
KARK has reached out to attorneys for comment. None had been received prior to publication. We will update this story should this change.