Rhode Island Seeks to Revoke Medical Cannabis Operator’s License Over Bribery

Rhode Island regulators are seeking to revoke the license of medical cannabis operator Colorado Ave LLC after its owner paid a bribe to Jasiel Correia, the disgraced former mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts.

Full story after the jump.

Officials in Rhode Island are seeking to revoke the medical cannabis cultivation license of Colorado Ave LLC, which is owned by Brian Bairos – who agreed to pay a bribe to disgraced former Fall River, Massachusetts Mayor Jasiel Correia, WPRI reports. Correia was found guilty earlier this month of extorting cannabis businesses and fraud.

Bairos testified in Correia’s trial that he paid the $150,00 bribe, in return for a non-opposition letter to open a dispensary in the city, in a combination of cash and more than 12 pounds of cannabis to a Correia associate named Tony Costa. Bairos was given immunity in exchange for his testimony.

In a show-cause order issued in February, the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) said Colorado Ave failed to ensure the agency access to its real-time camera feeds and failed to appropriately track and trace plants and inventory. The order also says the revocation is due to Colorado Ave’s “failure to uphold its fitness to engage in the medical marijuana industry by Mr. Bairos’ participating in Giving Tree’s extortion.” Giving Tree was the name of his proposed cannabis dispensary in Fall River.

The case has also ensnared David Brayton, a Rhode Island man who testified at Correia’s trial that he paid a $100,000 bribe to the former mayor for a non-opposition letter to open a dispensary. Brayton has successfully applied for the Rhode Island license lottery for his plan to open a dispensary, Faded Minds, in Providence, the report says.

Brian Hodge, a spokesperson for the DBR, said the agency is aware of Brayton’s links to the Fall River scandal and that regulators reserve “the right to disqualify applicants based on new information” but could not “comment on ongoing investigatory matters.”

Following his conviction, Corriea claimed he would “have a great day of vindication and eventually the real truth will come out” adding that “there were no facts that were brought forward [and] no overwhelming evidence.” He has promised to appeal.

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