The Federal Bureau of Investigations is examining possible public corruption tied to the local marijuana industry in Sacramento after federal prosecutors indicted four for reportedly directing overseas money into both campaign coffers and cannabis companies. Did public officials accept bribes in return of favorable licensing to entrepreneurs in a fiercely competitive legal marijuana market?
That’s the question being asked of marijuana industry insiders in the region. High Times reported the FBI has declined to confirm or deny the existence of such an investigation. Yet in an FBI podcast broadcast titled “Corruption Threat Emerges in Marijuana Industry” in mid-August, supervisory special agents indicated unequivocally they had noted an increasing threat of public corruption in the burgeoning marijuana market in Southern California. They explicitly sought tips that might help direct such investigatory efforts.
Another investigation by city officials in Sacramento is examining how one cannabis company owner and those associated with him were able to score eight marijuana dispensary licenses in the city – roughly one-third of the allowable number of sellers within city limits. The man reportedly donated handsome sums to numerous local politicians in the city while they were running for election and re-election. Continue reading