Even in the budding marijuana industry, government corruption can rear its ugly head if two recent cases in Colorado and Washington are any indication.
According to a report, news spread that the two states are home to the first known cases of current or ex pot regulators who are facing allegations of having improper dealings with the industry. It’s not a coincidence that both Colorado and Washington are the oldest pot states, making it legal way back in 2012, despite a federal law on the books that makes it illegal.
In the Colorado weed regulation case, the U.S. Justice Department has been paying attention after Renee Rayton, an enforcement officer, was accused of helping growers produce marijuana plants to sell out of the state. The inspector reportedly quit her job last year and was shortly after employed at the illegal weed enterprise, where she made $8,000 a month.
The indictment, which came on June 7, alleges Renee Rayton told the weed growers she could aid in making them legal via her contacts at the agency in Colorado. The report noted the indictment argues Rayton had “vast knowledge” of marijuana regulations and “must have been aware” that others were growing pot illegally.
In Washington, the agency in the state that regulates marijuana recently fired a worker for leasing land to a potential pot grower. In that case, marijuana licensing specialist Grant Bulski was leasing 25 acres to a marijuana entrepreneur, charging $2,834 a month. That is against the rules in Washington, which prohibit state pot regulators for having any financial stake in a pot business. The employee was not charged with any crimes, noted the report.
“Marijuana is unique because it’s so front and center in the public eye,” said Lewis Koski, who became Colorado’s top weed regulation enforcement officer, in the report.