Michigan’s Marijuana Boom: And The Bribery Scandal Fueling It
When Michigan fully legalized recreational marijuana in 2019, many business owners became hopeful that they could make some big money by legally selling people their favorite cannabis products.
But now in 2023, it may feel like you can't throw a rock without hitting six dispensaries. This over abundance has caused a market crash and record low prices for marijuana products.
While, this may be great for customers, it's causing cannabis business owners to wonder how they're going to make money on their cash crop. And we finally know who is to blame for the rock bottom prices, and closing dispensaries.
Rick Johnson chaired the Michigan Medical Licensing Board from May 2017 to April 2019, and during this time he has plead guilty to manipulating the system for his own gain.
During his time on the licensing board, new court documents say that he accepted over $100,000 in bribes and other gifts in exchange for issuing licenses.
These bribes and gifts are said to be the reason that Michigan now has "too many" dispensaries, causing the massive crash in price, and making it difficult for business owners to make money or survive with the steep competition.
But, he wasn't alone in this act. He's one of four men who have been accused of doing this and are now taking a plea deal. He agreed to put in a guilty plea and faces charges later this year in exchange for his cooperation with federal investigators.
We'll have to wait until his sentencing in September to find out what happens, but he could be facing up to 10 years in prison based on the proposed charges coming his way.