Michigan Update: Officials Implicated In Bribery Scandal, Bay City's Cannabis Lounges, Lighting Disagreement

Former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson, two lobbyists and an Oakland County businessman were recently charged with bribery in connection with the state’s marijuana licensing operations.

Johnson, appointed as chairman of the state’s medical marijuana licensing board from May 2017 through April 2019, is accused of accepting over $100,000 in bribes in exchange for licenses to launch marijuana facilities.

According to Detroit News, the other three people charged are lobbyists Brian Pierce, Vincent Brown and businessman John Dawood Dalaly. All four reached plea agreements and are cooperating with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Brian Hanna, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency, said the state regulators are reviewing the information and disciplinary action will be pursued if any businesses broke the law or rules.

Meanwhile, Bay City Approves Cannabis Lounges

Bay City has updated its laws to allow licensed venues to offer on-site cannabis consumption to adults over 21, creating a new special license for “designated consumption establishments” that meet regulatory requirements.

The city is now able to grant up to five designated consumption licenses to eligible applicants under the new ordinance, reported by MLive Michigan.

The ordinance change was approved during the April 3 commission meeting in a 6 to 2 vote with Commissioners Rivet and Niedzwiecki dissenting. Despite its success with the commission, some members of the public, such as Jordan Ball from the Bay County Marijuana Awareness Team, expressed opposition, citing concerns about second-hand smoke exposing non-smokers to THC.

A Cannabis Dispensary Loses Permit Following Lighting Disagreement

Exclusive Brands’ cannabis store in Gaylord, Michigan lost its business permit just 11 days after opening, due to non-compliant outdoor lighting and ordinance violations at its grand opening event.

Although the company’s chief development officer claimed the lighting issue had been resolved in February, they are now working with the city to address the problem and hope to restore the permit at the next city council meeting.

Image Credits: Brad West On Unsplash Edited By Benzinga

Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.