A panel of judges at a California court ruled on Wednesday that operating a marijuana business is considered a crime.

According to Courthouse News Service, a three-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed an earlier ruling that prevented a California licensed cannabis grower from suing her former business partners for participating in a fraudulent scheme that led to her cannabis farm being in a state of disarray.

That ruling was based on the fact that Francine Shulman, a former apple farmer who ventured into the cannabis space, couldn't sue under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), as it would allow her to take actions that are considered illegal on the federal level.

"Looking to RICO as a whole, it is clear that Congress did not intend 'business or property' to cover cannabis-related commerce," U.S. Circuit Judge Milan Smith Jr., a George W. Bush appointee wrote. "When Congress enacted RICO, it expressly defined 'racketeering activity' to include the 'manufacture, importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in' cannabis."

The Background

Shulman, a California farmer, …

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