Lobbyist pleads guilty in Michigan marijuana bribery scandal

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Another person has pleaded guilty to participating in a bribery scheme in Michigan designed to connect hopeful medical marijuana operators with licenses.

Lobbyist Brian Pierce said he gave at least $42,000 in bribes to a company controlled by former Republican Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson to help with cannabis license applications, MLive.com reported.

Johnson earlier pleaded guilty to accepting more than $100,000 in bribes from would-be cannabis business operators in exchange for help obtaining licenses

Pierce, for his part, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to accept a bribe.

According to MLive.com, the charge could carry up to five years in federal prison and result in a fine of up to $250,000.

Johnson, who chaired a Michigan medical marijuana licensing board from 2017 and 2019, and three others pleaded guilty to participating in the bribery scheme in April.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer dismantled the board in 2019.

Whitmer appointed Brian Hanna to lead the Cannabis Regulatory Agency on a temporary basis in September.