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April 8 2023,
THE BIG IDEA
I’m looking forward to an east coast trip this week. If you see me at Benzinga in Miami, say hi.
In the newsletter:
- California’s CEQA crunch
- Lots more
I hope you find it valuable,
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FORMER MICHIGAN MED REGULATOR CHARGED IN BRIBERY SCHEME
Former Michigan House Speaker and chair of the state’s MED licensing board Rick Johnson (R) was charged in connection with a cannabis bribery scandal. Two lobbyists and a business owner were also charged, with more indictments expected.
Detroit Metro Times, Crain’s Detroit Business
Federal prosecutors allege Johnson was “the heart of this corrupt scheme” to accept bribes in exchange for licenses.
- Business owner Dalaly “is accused of giving Johnson at least $68,000 in cash and other benefits, including flights on his private plane, in exchange for a license to operate a medical cannabis dispensary, which federal authorities have not yet named.”
- All four charged are cooperating in the ongoing investigation.
- The Michigan MED board was disbanded when the REC market arrived.
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will speak at a 4/20 event at the Capitol.
- An ruling in the federal case of The Hacienda Company, which used to own Lowell Farms, suggests a “trend away from ‘zero tolerance’ cannabis bankruptcy relief,” Canna Law Blog writes.
- MSO Green Thumb Industries‘ plan to open stores adjacent to Circle K convenience stores is reportedly in litigation. It’s not clear who’s suing who.
- March was another grim month for pot stocks.
New Cannabis Ventures
- AI-recruiting software Engin Sciences landed a $2.5M Series A led by Gotham Growth Partners.
- A lawsuit alleges MSO Jushi tried to keep a competitor out of a Massachusetts town.
Green Market Report
- A federal judge in Nevada ordered Instagram celeb Dan Bilzerian’s Ignite brand to pay $1.6M to a consulting firm, dismissing a lawsuit between the two.
- Las Vegas nightlife impresario Robert Frey is opening a cannabis museum in Manhattan’s SoHo with backing from Merida, a major industry investor.
State and local:
- Growers say they’re being taxed out of business by a formula that calculates the fair market value of flower, rather than its actual wholesale price.
- California’s new law preventing companies from firing employees for cannabis use when they’re not on duty, has created an issue with impaired employees on duty. In Washington state, both branches of the legislature have signed a similar law.
OC Register, Human Resources
- New Mexico REC sales topped $300M in their first year.
- Ananda Consulting’s Hirsh Jain and lawyer Jeffrey Schultz compared the California and New York markets.
- Based on a situation in Oakland, Slate makes the environmental case for indoor growing.
- Scientists developed a pesticide exposure test for weed workers.
Cannabis Equipment News
- Small Thai businesses are struggling amid a lack of regulation.
Australian Broadcasting Company
Fun and interesting:
- High Times asks what, and where, is cannabis culture today?