FBI warns of 'public corruption threat' in legal marijuana industry

by

comment
SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

Thousands of people are maneuvering to get a piece of what’s expected to be Michigan’s $1.5 billion legal marijuana industry.

Everyone knows money is a magnet for public corruption, so it’s no surprise the FBI is getting involved in the industry.


“As an increasing number of states change their marijuana legislation, the FBI is seeing a public corruption threat emerge in the expanding cannabis industry,” FBI spokeswoman Mollie Halpern said on a recent podcast released by the FBI. “States require licenses to grow and sell the drug, opening the possibility for public officials to become susceptible to bribes in exchange for those licenses.”

Halpern urged listeners to call their local FBI field offices if they suspect public corruption.



FBI scrutiny “actually can be a good thing,” California cannabis attorney Henry Wykowski, a former federal prosecutor, told Marijuana Business Daily. “I think some people are taking advantage of the industry, and we’re entitled to the same protection other industries receive.”

Michigan voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in November.

The first recreational marijuana dispensaries are expected to begin opening later this year and in early 2020.

Earlier this year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to handle the licensing, regulation, and oversight of medical and recreational cannabis businesses.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.