California Cannabis Claims: Unfair Competition

Welcome to the final post in our litigation series on California cannabis claims. For our last post, we’ll be touching on California’s Unfair Competition Law.


California’s “Unfair Competition Law,” also known as the Unfair Competition Act, Unfair Business Practices Act, or the Unfair Practices Act, is codified at Business & Professions Code § 17200, et seq. As its name suggests, it generally prohibits “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice.” If this seems a little ambiguous or vague, that’s exactly the point – it’s purposefully written in “sweeping language” to prevent “anything that can properly be called a business practice and that at the same time is forbidden by law.”

Statute of Limitations

An Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) claim must be initiated within four years.

Elements of an Unfair Competition Claim

There are five elements to any UCL claim:

Proper Parties. Any person may sue or be sued under the UCL – that includes corporations, partnerships, associations, or other organizations of people. Parties may sue only if, as a result of the unfair competition they claim, they have (1) suffered injury in fact, and (2) lost money or property. “Injury in fact” requires an actual, legally

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