Rhode Island looks to shutter cannabis grower involved in bribery scheme

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A Rhode Island medical cannabis cultivator could lose his grow license over his involvement in a bribery scandal in another state.

Brian Bairos, who grows licensed cannabis in Warwick, Rhode Island, testified this month that he paid a $150,000 bribe to Jasiel Corriea, then-mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, in order to open a marijuana business there, according to East Providence TV station WPRI.

Bairos was hoping to open a vertically integrated cannabis company in Massachusetts.

He agreed to pay Corriea in exchange for a host community agreement from Fall River and a letter of nonopposition – two requirements to receive a license from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

Bairos paid the bribe with cash and more than a dozen pounds of marijuana.

The bribe is one reason the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation is seeking to shut down Bairos’ grow operation, Colorado Ave.

Regulators also cited such offenses as failing to ensure the state has camera access to the facility and failing to properly track marijuana plants and inventory.

Former Fall River mayor Corriea was found guilty earlier this month for his role in the bribery scheme.