"Because the state is delegating exactly who is in control, who is doing the review process of the licenses, who approves them, who creates the applications, etc., it's a breeding ground for corruption," said Nourafchan.

The cannabis industry is “particularly vulnerable to lacking a set of safeguards or regularity that might hedge against corruption in other areas,” said Berman.

States that have largely avoided corruption controversies either do not have license caps — like Colorado or Oklahoma — or dole out a limited number of licenses through a lottery rather than scoring the applicants by merit — like Arizona.


Utah's process was corrupt as hell, and anyone telling you otherwise is ignorant, delusional, or part of the hustle.

This cannabis industry and the culture around it brings out some bad actors.

Oligopolies, the model Utah is trying to emulate, don't provide any positives to help the community, patients, or protect the children; it's a state-sanctioned drug cartel where the good ol' boys club picks the players, products, and prices; regardless of abilities or reputation.

(*reviews the state audit, again* 😑 smdh)

Those truly in need are priced out, like me, there is NO compassionate program here. (The state considers that socialism. 🙄) Prices are unreasonable, especially given the quality.

I've been advocating for access since 2012, and now I can't afford my state's program, much like many I fought for.

Legislators ask how to help make it affordable. Well…

>Remove the middle man. Let all doctors recommended—no more paper mills BS. Your illogical stance with patient caps needs to go; it's nonsensical. (That's a $400 savings a year right there, in just card fees, from some places.)

>The only other way to lower cost is basic economics: supply and demand. We need more growers and dispensaries to make this a truly competitive market. Subpar and overpriced products in-state will just encourage the traditional market to thrive and push more out of state sales.

It's long past time to decriminalize cannabis. I don't plan on stopping my use just because I can't afford a corrupt state program. Do you think an LEO wants to arrest a brain tumor patient because she can't afford a state program? Stop creating problems you're supposed to fix.

We didn't want a cumbersome program.

We wanted safe, legal, conveniently accessible, and reasonably priced products. We did not get that.

We will not remain silent.

(Reminder, all medical cannabis letters expire on Dec 31, 2020. There are NO plans from the legislators to extend this, even after the audit uncovered corruption and the UDAF review showed underperforming license winners.

Until every grow and dispensary is functioning properly, we demand all letters be allowed until safe access is feasible.)

~Christine Stenquist

How state marijuana legalization became a boon for corruption

By making local officials the gatekeepers for million-dollar businesses, states created a breeding ground for bribery and favoritism.