Many questions are now being asked regarding how most of the cannabis license applications in the city of Commerce California got their approval. Light has now been shined upon the City of Commerceʼs marijuana battles that have turned ugly, involved fistfights, ex convicts, and nasty accusations this year (2019).
A number of landlords were shocked to see that their addresses were listed as a Cannabis Manufacturer, without their approval, on the City of Commerce website. Many companies did not have a location when they applied for the license but were able to apply using a current address without the approval of the landlord.
The city official turned a blind eye on the location and failed to verify if the landlord really issued any approvals. The applicant and the city work hand in hand to obtain the license and then sell it for millions of dollars to companies who need it.
For example, High Note LLC, owned by ex convict and grower, John Samir Jezzini, from the city of Jezzine, Lebanon. Ex convict Jezzini, is known to have a great relationship with City of Commerce officials. He was able to obtain a manufacturing cannabis license under a location in Commerce on Bandini blvd, without the approval of the landlord. That case is just one of several that have been involved with cannabis sellers and growers, allegedly bribing or trying to bribe government officials, and public officials committing illegal acts to get rich off of marijuana licenses. California was the first state to legalize the sale of marijuana for medical use two decades ago.
This week the mayor of Fall River Was removed from office after he allegedly took up to $250,000 in cash and other bribes From cannabis vendors In exchange for cannabis licenses.
The former mayor of the City of Cudahy was sentenced to one year in a federal prison, in 2013, for taking cash bribes in exchange for supporting the opening of a “medical marijuana” store in the city. The head of the cityʼs code enforcement division and a city councilman were also convicted of taking part in the corruption scheme.
Law enforcement agencies are currently investigating possible corruption in other Southern California cities, according to Ed Muramoto, a private attorney for medical pot dispensaries that have complained about cities locking them out of competition for permits. State law gives too much authority to local officials to dictate terms of city licenses, according to Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a pro-legalization group that supported Proposition 64. “Corruption is always worse at the local level because there are so many more local officials and they arenʼt under as much scrutiny as those in Sacramento,” he said. State agencies, he said, “have been doing their best to expedite licensing, but too many local players have been getting their hands in the pie.”