FBI probing potential public corruption in California capital’s marijuana industry

The FBI is investigating suspected corruption involving Sacramento, California, cannabis businesses and public officials.

The FBI interviewed marijuana industry officials in California’s capital city over the past few months about potential bribes made in exchange for license approvals and other favorable treatment, The Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

The report about the probe comes a day after Sacramento officials called for an investigation into cannabis dispensary licensing, including the decision to grant eight dispensary permits to a group that includes a Ukrainian-born businessman indicted last week for allegedly violating federal campaign finance laws.

The businessman, Andrey Kukushkin, was indicted along with three other men, including two associates of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Kukushkin is linked to other cannabis efforts in California, including an attempt to win permits for a growing operation in Livermore about 90 miles south of Sacramento, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Among other things, the indictment last week detailed an attempt by the group to win a lucrative Nevada retail cannabis license. Nevada’s governor has called for an investigation into corruption in the state’s cannabis industry.

The FBI didn’t respond immediately for a request for comment from the Sacramento newspaper.

Federal investigators have intensified their efforts to battle public corruption in the state-legal marijuana industry in recent months. The FBI highlighted that effort in a recent podcast that included a request for tips from the public.

For more information about the investigations in the Sacramento area, click here and here.

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2 comments on “FBI probing potential public corruption in California capital’s marijuana industry
  1. George on

    Sacramento was the wrong place for Kukushkin to work the politicians. He should try San Joaquin County. Bribes are cheaper there!

  2. Brandon on

    This is what happens when the state allows every city to determine it’s own criteria for awarding cannabis licenses. This is also what happens when you put quotas on the number of licenses awarded. Get rid of the quotas and allow the free market to decide what businesses survive. What happen to capitalism? Seems more like communism in my opinion… hate to say it.

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