Former Maryland lawmaker sent to prison in cannabis bribery case

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A former state lawmaker who helped create Maryland’s medical marijuana industry was sentenced to two years in prison for taking bribes for legislative favors, including votes to benefit a medical marijuana company.

During Wednesday’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake said Cheryl Glenn, 69, sold her office to pay her bills and tried to cover up her corruption.

Glenn, a Democrat who represented parts of Baltimore as a state delegate, must report to prison by Sept. 21. The judge also ordered her to pay $18,750 in restitution.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a three-year prison sentence for Glenn, who admitted she accepted five bribes totaling $33,750 over an 11-month period in 2018 and 2019.

Glenn pleaded guilty in January to a bribery-related charge and honest services wire fraud.

In March, Baltimore businessman Lance Andre Lucas, 44, pleaded guilty to bribing Glenn to:

  • Introduce legislation benefiting a company he worked for.
  • Assist a second company in obtaining a medical marijuana dispensary license.
  • Help a third company secure a medical marijuana growing license.

Lucas hasn’t been sentenced yet.

Glenn served as a state delegate from January 2007 until her resignation in December, days before her charges were unsealed.

The first bribe she took, a $3,000 payment, was in exchange for votes in favor of legislation that increased the number of medical marijuana grower licenses in Maryland from 15 to 22 and capped processing licenses at 28.

“Glenn did this to benefit an out-of-state medical marijuana company that was seeking a license,” prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors described Glenn as “instrumental” in the creation of Maryland’s medical marijuana industry. The state’s Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission is named after Glenn’s late mother.

– Associated Press