CA Lawmaker Asks State DOJ to Create Task Force to ‘Root Out Corruption’ in Cannabis Licensing

Photo by Marco Jimenez on Unsplash

By The Vanguard Staff

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said Tuesday she’s asked the CA Dept. of Justice to create a Cannabis Task Force to “evaluate the contracting practices, cannabis licensing procedures, and related issues of the contracting of cities in Southeast Los Angeles County (SELA) and other regions of the state that warrant additional oversight.”

“This task force, if established by the Attorney General’s office, can root out corruption and provide a roadmap for future cannabis licensing in the state,” she said.

“We need to ensure we eliminate the black market and ensure the local level process is legitimate, fair, and not fraught with corruption. Creating the Statewide Cannabis Task Force will help to ensure that,” explained the SoCal lawmaker, who was an early proponent of legalizing and regulating cannabis, and a signatory for Proposition 64, which legalized Cannabis in California. 

“Due to continued reporting from the LA Times and documents released from the U.S. Attorney’s office, there is reason to be concerned about the cannabis licensing procedures in many jurisdictions throughout the state. In fact, various news sources have reported on pay-to-play schemes in several SELA cities,” Garcia explained.

She added, “Many of the cities in SELA contract for a variety of services, including cannabis licensing.  It is well-documented that many of these cities have not had the taxpayers’ best interests in mind when awarding contracts for services. In fact, the contracting issues are so problematic that the region is often referred to as the ‘corridor of corruption.’

“I’ve been worried for a while about corruption with cannabis licensing procedures which is why I’ve asked for audits in the past. Corruption and pay-to-play schemes erode the trust in our government and is bad for our democratic process,” argued the state lawmaker.

“Much of why I am elected to this office is based on my fight against malfeasance and corruption in our local government and to ensure accountability of our taxpayers’ dollars both in Sacramento and in my local region,” noted Garcia.

But, she added, “During my tenure in office, a number of southeast cities and local governments have made headlines over their contracting and cannabis practices. The Cities of Commerce, Huntington Park, Maywood, Montebello, Cudahy, Vernon, and the Central Basin Municipal Water Districts have each been audited or identified by the State Auditor as high-risk municipalities or agencies that pose significant financial and organizational risks or have made headlines for questionable practices.”

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for