Falling property values behind suit targeting Massachusetts medical cannabis dispensary

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Falling property values: That’s why a group of businesses say they are suing a neighboring medical marijuana dispensary in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Boston 25 News reported that Harvard Square business owners claim the cannabis store is driving down property values by millions of dollars.

Healthy Pharms, the Cambridge store, is a medical marijuana shop, but because this case is in federal court, the results could have ramifications for both the medical and recreational cannabis industries.

The original complaint was filed in September, 2017.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • One property owner, Crimson Galleria owner Raj Dhanda, is claiming the MMJ shop has reduced his property’s worth by $27 million.
  • An attorney for the dispensary argues there’s no evidence to back the claim and that Healthy Pharms is operating within the law.
  • Dhanda has banded with other business proprietors to sue Healthy Pharms and nearly a dozen others under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. If successful, the suit could amount to damages of more than $81 million.
  • This isn’t the first time a cannabis business has been threatened with a RICO lawsuit. A lawsuit in Colorado involving the antiracketeering law is scheduled to go to trial in July.
  • A motion to dismiss the case is pending.
  • Massachusetts’ recreational market is set to begin sales this summer, as early as July 1.