Cannabis Corruption — You Won’t Believe the Culprits
Allegations of corruption in America are nothing new.
We invented white-collar crime.
Wheeling and dealing is the American way.
Heck, our current president is in part famous for his take on the “Art of the Deal.”
Shaking hands after a well-struck accord is a symbol of American entrepreneurship.
The problem is we have a lot of greasy hands in the mix.
Now this quintessential American corruption is rearing its ugly head in California’s legal pot market.
The surprise is this criminality is not coming from the usual places.
Here’s what you need to know.
Dressed in Suits and Looking for Cash…
When it comes to pot and allegations of corruption, you would think cartels and street gangs would be the problem.
That’s the furthest thing from the truth. The real culprit?
Local government officials looking for a fast payday.
Marijuana Business Daily reports, “At least four different cases have garnered media attention in recent months. The FBI even got involved in one instance.”
Pot’s new criminal element comes dressed in suits looking for bribes.
Here are a few recent examples…
- The Apothecarium in San Francisco: The dispensary sued the city, alleging public corruption since they were denied a license over a competitor who was well-connected and made a number of campaign contributions, reports SF Weekly
- The Daily Californian reported in June that Dan Rush, former head of Berkeley’s Medical Cannabis Commission, was found guilty of fraud and money laundering in association with cannabis licensing
- In Huntington Park, dispensary applicants sued in federal court, alleging that city administrators conspired to award licenses to predetermined companies, according to court documents obtained by Tech Profits Daily
- In May, the Los Angeles Times reported an investigation into Adelanto’s mayor led to his arrest for having taken bribes from cannabusinesses
- In the Emerald Triangle, the fertile part of the Northwest known for high-quality pot, the Humboldt planning and building department inspector was arrested for bribery, having defrauded several cannabis companies, reports North Coast Journal.
And that’s just a small sample from this year.
Before California implemented its regulatory infrastructure, things were a lot worse.
When the Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act first went into effect corruption was a much bigger problem than it is now, noted one cannabis licensing attorney speaking to Tech Profits on the condition of anonymity.
The big question is: Is this a problem that could derail California cannabis?
Our belief is absolutely not. This is why…
Corruption is Everywhere, In Every Industry
Well before the pot industry went legal, folks were committing white-collar crimes all the time.
But because it’s cannabis, all these violations and corrupt elements are held under a microscope.
CannaRegs founder Amanda Ostrowitz, speaking to Tech Profits Daily, notes: “This is a nascent industry, where there’s lots of cash dealing, so in some ways it may also be harder to trace corruption.”
To fix the problem, many are suggesting more state-level regulation, taking licensing power out of the hands of “more corruptible local officials,” reports Marijuana Business Daily.
If a restructuring occurs, great. If not, folks invested in California pot shouldn’t worry.
Corruption is everywhere and in every industry.
It is NOT unique to cannabis and will not derail the pot boom anytime soon.
For Technology Profits Daily,
Managing Editor, Technology Profits Daily