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Corruption in California’s cannabis industry has become widespread and brazen.

March 23, 2023 Corruption in California’s cannabis industry has become widespread and brazen. There have been pay-to-play schemes, including a demand for cash in a brown paper bag for a pot license, threats of violence against local officials, and city council members accepting money from cannabis businesses even as they regulated them. Those problems and…
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Bay Area cannabis grows linked to Chinese organized crime

Lester Black, SFGATE March 23, 2023 Overseas Chinese organized crime groups are behind many of the illegal cannabis operations in Northern California, officials say. “The [California Department of Cannabis Control] has reason to believe that Chinese triads have been participating in illegal cannabis cultivation for several years in Northern California,” David Hafner, a DCC spokesperson, said…
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Cannabis Cartel: Weeding out Local Farmers

Mercy Wellness opened the first and only cannabis consumption lounge within the County of Sonoma By Adina Flores, May 8, 2023 As of December 2022, Santa Rosa-based Sonoma Lab Works has officially closed their doors. Just before Christmas, employees were laid off with virtually no notice. According to Green Market Report, “the lab’s owner, businessman Darius Anderson,…
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Cannabis workers face death and exploitation. California is stepping in after Times investigation

By Paige St. JohnStaff Writer  WEAVERVILLE, Calif.  — Workers including this man were recruited to a licensed cannabis farm in Trinity County and said they felt trapped on a freezing mountain, working behind locked gates without heat, water, shelter and, in the end, their pay. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times) Acknowledging growing…
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Running dry

We’ve reported on how California’s illicit pot market has hurt the heavily taxed and regulated legal market. Expanding on that, agriculture reporter Kim Chipman this week follows up on her earlier reporting about water theft in California (see here) to look at how the industry is contributing to the state’s shortages.  California’s stubbornly persistent illegal cannabis…
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How Cartels Successfully Take Over Northern California | Jorge Ventura

How hordes of Hmong cartels invade and overpower small towns in remote counties, ie: Siskiyou. “If you see the pictures, if you see the video, it looks like a third world country. The crime is off the charts. We have people getting murdered at marijuana grows.” My guest today is Jeremiah LaRue, Sheriff of Siskiyou…
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Marijuana legalization takes a giant step backward

By CALDER MCHUGH 03/08/2023  RIP ‘TOKELAHOMA’ — On Tuesday, Oklahoma slowed the roll of marijuana legalization across the country, voting down full legalization in a referendum by over 20 points. Since 2018, when voters backed medical marijuana legalization by double-digits, the state has earned the nickname “Tokelahoma,” with roughly 12,000 licensed marijuana businesses and nearly 400,000 patients (in a state with…
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California’s Marijuana Paradise Lost

The black market in pot proliferates despite legalization. By The Editorial BoardFeb. 7, 2023 Marijuana advocates us that legalizing the drug would curb the black market. We’re still waiting. The opposite has happened in California, where a glut of illegal weed is undercutting legal purveyors. Now progressives are proposing an interstate compact to export their pot and…
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Pot is making people sick. Congress is playing catch-up

Politico Now that a growing body of evidence says marijuana is bad for you, more regulation is in the offing. By BEN LEONARD02/06/2023 When Gallup asked about legalizing weed last year, two-thirds of Americans supported it — up from 12 percent when the pollster first asked in 1969. Recognition of marijuana’s medical benefits, the harms of punitive drug…
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Lawmakers want investigation, hearings into ‘Wild West’ of California cannabis and farm work

BY PAIGE ST. JOHN,  ADAM ELMAHREK JAN. 29, 2023 5 AM PT California lawmakers are calling for a sweeping investigation into corruption in the state’s cannabis industry, legislative hearings on the exploitation of farmworkers and new laws to thwart labor trafficking in response to revelations of rampant abuses and worker deaths in a multibillion-dollar market that has…
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