Competitor’s Civil Conspiracy Claim is Baseless, Says Utah Medical Marijuana Cultivar in License Suit

Late last week defendant True North of Utah LLC hit back at allegations that it, along with state defendants like the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, improperly influenced the state’s licensing process at plaintiff JLPR LLC’s expense.

The company’s motion to dismiss asked the District of Utah court to dissolve the single claim implicating True North, claiming that the plaintiff failed to plead it with particularity and state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

As previously reported, JLPR sued after it failed to procure a license to cultivate medical marijuana in Utah. Its complaint alleged that the licenses were awarded on impartial bases including conflicts of interest, scoring irregularities, collusion among evaluators, managerial alteration of evaluators’ scores, and failures to follow the law. 

Last week’s filing asserted that the plaintiff’s “scorched-earth” lawsuit “blindly cast blame on nearly everyone involved in the selection process.” The causes of action are pleaded generically, True North argued, highlighting that the civil conspiracy claim lodged against it is “obscure and factually vapid.” As such, the dismissal motion claimed, JLPR “only intends to engage in a prolonged fishing expedition, hoping to ultimately uncover nefarious behavior among the successful applicants who were awarded a cultivation license.”

The complaint also failed to plead a tort underlying the conspiracy claim, True North argued. Instead, it offers conclusory allegations about purported misconduct without specifying names, dates, places, actions, or context, in the allegedly slanted selection process. Too, the allegations lack specificity and distinction from claims against the other defendants, thereby depriving Truth North of fair notice of the basis of the claims asserted against it, the motion claimed.

The defendant concluded that as a result, the fact-bare allegations neither meet the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure’s heightened pleading standard nor state a claim for relief. If the court rules against dismissal, True North moves for an order that JLPR provide a more definite and factually-based statement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e).

JLPR is represented by Price Parkinson & Kerr and True North by Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.