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Tags: florida | andrew gillum | aides | legalize | marijuana | democrats

Former Gillum Top Aides Behind Initiative to Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana plant
Marijuana plant (Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 01 September 2022 10:33 AM EDT

Former top aides to disgraced Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum now are focused on legalizing marijuana, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Gillum in June was accused of unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals between 2016-19 through false and fraudulent promises and representations indicating the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.

Now, former Gillum campaign attorney Glenn Burhans and former Gillum fundraising PAC head Andrew Gay are listed as the registered agent and treasurer, respectively, of Smart & Safe Florida, a political action committee working to legalize recreational marijuana.

Trulieve, a provider in medical and recreational cannabis and CBD products, which gave Smart & Safe Florida $5 million in August, indirectly was involved in the federal corruption case against Gillum.

Tallahassee real estate mogul J.T. Burnette, who's married to Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers, was sentenced in November 2021 to three years in federal prison as part of the probe, the Free Beacon reported.

Burnette coordinated with a city commissioner to implement a temporary ban on new medical weed dispensaries, which benefited Trulieve.

Burnette also bragged to undercover FBI agents that he worked with a then-state lawmaker to insert "little tweaks" into a bill that outlined which companies could apply for medical marijuana licenses in Florida, the Free Beacon reported.

Gillum, who lost to Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2018, was discovered in a Miami hotel room inebriated and with a man suspected of overdosing on crystal meth. The former Tallahassee, Florida mayor, a married father of three, then withdrew from public life as a political leader and a paid CNN commentator.

Gay, however, continued to serve as treasurer of the Democrat's fundraising PAC, Forward Florida, until his resignation in August 2020.

In 2018, when the Florida Republican Party ran ads tying Gillum to the federal investigation into Tallahassee corruption, Burhans demanded TV stations take the ad down, calling the spot "demonstrably false in numerous respects."

Trulieve operates a quarter of Florida's weed dispensaries and controls more than half of the state's medicinal marijuana market, helping it bring in more than $320 million in second-quarter revenue this year, the Free Beacon said.

Florida agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried, who lost to Charlie Crist in last week's Democrat gubernatorial primary, held six figures' worth of stock in Harvest Health and Recreation, a cannabis dispensary acquired by Trulieve in October 2021.

Fried then said she would liquidate her Trulieve shares.

Tallahassee attorney Sean Pittman, a registered Trulieve lobbyist, has called both Fried and Crist his "friends," the Free Beacon reported.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Former top aides to disgraced Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum now are focused on legalizing marijuana, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
florida, andrew gillum, aides, legalize, marijuana, democrats
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2022-33-01
Thursday, 01 September 2022 10:33 AM
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