An Oklahoma grow facility was charged with racketeering charges for cultivating marijuana too close to their neighbor’s property threshold. Moving towards a new level of whistleblowing, next-door neighbors in Oklahoma filed a complaint against the operation under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)- one of the worst lawsuits- after accusing the growers of farming too close to their property. In the Northern District of Oklahoma, the neighbors, Keith and Stephanie Grant, filed the complaint, Grant et al. v. Flying Buds Farms L.L.C. et al. The lawsuit was against Grant and other affiliates of Flying Buds Farms for cultivating, distributing, and selling marijuana illegally.
According to the complaint, the Grants live in rural Oklahoma next to defendant Gary Bacon Jr. Bacon launched Flying Buds Farms with his co-defendant Derek Wachob in 2019 to cultivate marijuana and supply local dispensaries as well as their own D-Lux dispensary. Although the complaint concedes that the marijuana was farmed “approximately less than 50 feet away from the Grants’ property line,” the suit claims that the plaintiffs had to live “in the constant presence of an openly operating unlawful marijuana cultivation and distribution enterprise and a construction zone” thus making it impossible for them to properly “enjoy” their home. Pretty much everything about the cultivation operation bothered the couple next door.
The Grants asserted that they couldn’t enjoy their home due to bright lights at night, loud industrial fans, and alterations of the floodplain that eventually flooded parts of their property. Along with constant helicopter noises and the telltale cannabis odor, whether staff was firing up some rolling papers or simply the plants themselves, they said it had been a continuous disturbance. The Grants claim that their next-door neighbor’s business is illegal under federal law. However, Oklahoma’s government listed Flying Buds Farms under the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority as a licensed grower as of December 15, 2021.
Since the state has no cap on medical cannabis licenses, there’s a massive influx of licensees and legal operations. This enormous surge of licenses sends neighbors into a bit of a panic. The couple also made claims that the property wasn’t owned by Bacon Jr. himself but by his stepmother and that they never received any notice from the State Fire Marshall or the Creek County Floodplain Management Board about the construction of the cultivation facility. The plaintiffs are suing on the counts of the violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1962(C) and (D), nuisance, and injury to property.
As reported by Law Street Media, the couple is aiming for “injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from further unlawful racketeering activities, three times their damage caused by their racketeering activities, compensatory damages, abatement of nuisances, disgorgement, attorney’s fees, and cost, and other relief.”