Federal Corruption Trial Reveals Details About Medical Marijuana Dispensary Trulieve’s Beginnings

During the trial of Tallahassee businessman J.T. Burnette, who has been found guilty of five public corruption charges, a secret audio file was played for jurors where Burnette bragged about how a political relationship led to his then-girlfriend, Kim Rivers, acquired a vertically integrated license to operate Trulieve in Florida.

Trulieve was one of the first medical cannabis dispensaries in Florida growing to now 85 stores, and a total of 90 stores nationally. On their website, they claim to have 48 percent of Florida’s “seed-to-sale” operation.

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FBI Tapes in Federal Corruption Trial Casts Florida Political Players in Unflattering Light

This week’s witnesses in the federal corruption trial of J.T. Burnette, a Tallahassee businessman standing trial for federal extortion and racketeering, described the “dirty politics of getting things done” in Tallahassee.

The testimony exposed some of the true “power behind the throne” like that wielded by Burnette and his wife, Kim Rivers, CEO of the mega medical marijuana company, Trulieve, and by a former “rising star” in Florida Democratic politics, Scott Maddox.

Burnette is facing federal charges of racketeering, and extortion stemming from a multi-year FBI investigation into political corruption in Tallahassee. Government prosecutors are trying to prove Burnette arranged bribes for Maddox, through Governance Services, LLC, a lobbying firm owned by Maddox’s close friend and business partner Paige Carter-Smith.

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