The state’s Cannabis Control Commission will be given secret information about five marijuana companies involved in a federal bribery case against the former Fall River mayor, a federal judge has ruled.
The former mayor, Jasiel Correia II, is accused of pressuring the marijuana companies for $575,000 in bribes in exchange for city approval to open pot businesses in Fall River. Correia, whose trial is set for May, has pleaded not guilty.
Public court documents have not identified the five marijuana vendors. Both prosecutors and defense lawyers have agreed to a protective order barring the release of any non-public information related to the case, other than for litigation purposes.
The cannabis commission requested permission to review the interview reports of people involved with the five companies so that regulators can assess whether any companies who have licenses or are seeking licenses acted improperly, court records say. Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys objected to the commission’s request.
US District Judge Douglas Woodlock agreed this week to allow the commission to review the pertinent information so it can “perform its legitimate regulatory duties.”
The commission promised to seek the court’s permission before revealing any detailed information from the case. The judge acknowledged the commission may publicly disclose that, after consulting with law enforcement, a particular company has no suitability concerns in receiving a license, a routine requirement for every application.
The commission can revoke or suspend a license if a person or organization associated with a marijuana establishment has “committed, permitted, aided, or abetted any illegal practices in its operations.” The commission can also take other actions to enforce its rules.
Naomi Martin can be reached at email@example.com.