Oregon Secretary Of State’s Marijuana Consulting Gig Raises Questions About New Audit On Preparing For Federal LegalizationPosted by On

“This appears to be an ethics violation and if it isn’t then Oregon’s ethics laws are broken. An elected official cannot take funds for personal use from someone they regulate.”

By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle

The Oregon secretary of state’s office released an audit of the state’s regulation of the cannabis industry on Friday on the heels of revelations that the agency’s head, Shemia Fagan, accepted a side job as consultant to a cannabis company in February.

Fagan’s consulting work with Veriede Holding LLC, an affiliate of La Mota cannabis dispensary chain, was first reported by Willamette Week on Thursday. The next day, secretary of state officials released the audit and took steps to distance Fagan from the analysis as much as possible.

Fagan recused herself on February 15 from the audit process after calling the Oregon Government Ethics Commission about the consulting work, public records show. They show Fagan contacted ethics officials in February, when the audit was only a little more than two months away from release—and much work was already underway. Her work with the company began shortly after her recusal.

No one is accusing Fagan of breaking any laws. And her secretary of state staffers say Fagan’s recusal exceeded what’s legally required because any action stemming from her office’s audit of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, which regulates cannabis, would come from the Legislature or the commission, not her…

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