Husband of Trulieve CEO Sentenced to Three Years In Prison for Corruption

1.8 min readPublished On: November 15th, 2021By

MIAMI– TCNNF (OTC) TRUL (CSE) Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers’s husband John Burnette, was convicted of bribery and handed a three year prison sentence and fined $1.25 million last week on public corruption charges according to reporting from Ganjapreneur. Prosecutors had asked for eight years due to the seriousness of the charges, according to the reporting from the Tallahassee Democrat. Burnette’s attorneys plan an appeal.

Burnette was convicted of bribery with former Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox and his business partner, Paige Carter-Smith.

(Image: Paige Carter-Smith)

Prosecutors said Burnette used his “power and wealth to corrupt the political process.” Burnette revealed the bribery scheme to undercover agents. He admitted to the FBI’s investigators he bribed Florida House Rep. Halsey Beshears (R) to insert language into Florida‘s medical cannabis bill requiring nurseries to be in business for 30 years prior to submitting a medical cannabis license application.

This hurt the very communities that were most badly affected by the failed War On Drugs.  The language in the law effectively locked out many Black-owned business from applying for licenses in Florida’s booming cannabis market.

Burnette was found guilty this past August of participating in a multiyear scheme to extort bribery payments of $10,000 a month to a then-city commissioner in an effort to secure real estate development projects in Tallahassee.

According to further reporting in the Tallahassee Democrat, while Burnette apologized during his sentencing for the damages caused by his actions, he declined to apologize for the actual crimes.

“The effects of my actions are far-reaching,” Burnette said. “There are no words to describe how sorry I am for the damages I have caused. For this, I am sorry.”

He was ordered to report to the Florida Bureau of Prisons on Jan. 9, 2022.

Trulieve was not implicated in the Burnette case. After the guilty verdict in the case, Trulieve’s board of directors reiterated its “strong support” of Rivers.

“We have consistently maintained that neither Trulieve nor our CEO are involved in the case,” Trulieve said in a Twitter post in response to Burnette’s conviction.

(Main Image: Burnette, in center, with his attorneys).

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