Original Post: Cannabis Now: Corruption & Crime Seems to Follow Restrictive Dispensary Permitting
[Canniseur: This is a record that’s been played again and again and it’s getting a bit scratchy. Each and every time in the history of the world when governments try to limit trade, there are people who will pay-to-play. That’s exactly what happened in Grover Beach, CA. It’s hard to turn down money, even when you know it’s not legal. Guess what? The black market continues to thrive in Grover Beach. It’s also happened in Massachusetts. And it will continue to happen until administrators in cities and counties wake up and allow regulated markets. Markets with a chokehold are prone to all sorts of corruption. Exactly what happened in Grover Beach, CA.]
In the grand panoply of grand exits, Debbie Peterson’s is memorable.
Until last February, Peterson, the former mayor of Grover Beach, a small city on the Central California coast in San Luis Obispo County, was serving on the city council, a post she had held for more than 10 years.
Like many California cities not in the Bay Area or in Los Angeles, Grover Beach was in need of viable commercial businesses — and stood poised to capture needed tax revenue and a commercial base after voters legalized cannabis — but also imposed strict limits on legal weed operations. The city would issue no more than three retail licenses, with the winners to be chosen by a council vote after their merits will duly weighed.
The problem is that limited business opportunities creates an atmosphere in which competition for those opportunities exceeds the bounds of propriety. That is, they encourage corruption, bribery and other excesses, a fact recognized by the FBI and alleged by lawmakers and members of the public as well as law enforcement in other states and cities, among them Illinois, Ohio and Florida. Licenses mysteriously awarded to political donors rather than the best-suited applicants, or other examples of patronage and nepotism abounded.
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