FBI seeks tips on corruption in the marijuana industry

August 18, 2019

The FBI announced on Thursday it is seeking tips on public corruption involving marijuana businesses. Currently, agents have found corruption primary localized in western states where recreation cannabis has been legalized. [Cal Coast Times]

In San Luis Obispo County, government employees and marijuana business insiders have accused public officials of pay-to-play in providing permits for cultivation and retail shops.

“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,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist Mollie Halpern said on a short podcast. “The corruption is more prevalent in western states where the licensing is decentralized—meaning the level of corruption can span from the highest to the lowest level of public officials.”

As legal recreational marijuana use expands, FBI analyst David Kirschner said to expect the corruption problem to increase.

“It’s our role as the FBI to help to ensure that the corruption doesn’t spread in this new industry,” Kirschner said.

Halpern ends the podcast with a plea to listeners who “suspect a dispensary is operating with an illegally obtained license, or suspect public corruption in the marijuana industry, contact your local FBI field office.”


Wonder why the Trib didn’t print this! Seems like any reputable paper would support this effort. Let’s see what the New Times does when it comes out this week.


FBI field office in Santa Maria


Niles Q

Define corruption in the context of politics. Companies making political contributions is protected speech. Politicians making decisions that favor donors is nothing new.

Hell, it’s practically to be expected.

I see no reason to expect the dope industry to behave any differently.