MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 40

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS State by State
Michigan
A powerful former politician and medical marijuana regulator in Michigan was sentenced to nearly
five years in federal prison for accepting bribes of more than $110,000 while leading the state's MMJ
licensing board.
Rick Johnson, the state's House speaker from 2001 to 2004, pleaded guilty in federal court in April to
accepting bribes while heading the state's Medical Marijuana Licensing Board from 2017 to 2019.
Johnson was also " fined $50,000 for soliciting and accepting bribes " as a former chair of the state's
MMJ regulatory agency and ordered to forfeit an additional $110,200, according to a news release from
the U.S. attorney's office in the Western District of Michigan.
He accepted a minimum of $110,200 in bribes, including cash payments, flights to Canada on private
planes and commercial sex paid for by others, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Co-defendants and lobbyists Brian Pierce and Vincent Brown also pleaded guilty to bribery-related
charges.
Michigan businessman John Dalaly was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for bribing Johnson.
" In return, Johnson provided an unfair advantage to bribe payers in the form of his favorable vote
on license applications, his help and support throughout the licensing process and confidential inside
information pertaining to the Board's work and other applicants, " according to a sentencing memo.
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MJBiz - November/December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - November/December 2023

MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT1
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT2
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover1
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover2
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 3
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MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover3
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover4
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT3
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT4
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