A St. Louis lawmaker is demanding that Missouri regulators investigate what she called an “egregious exploitation” of social cannabis equity licenses, following a report by The Independent last week about a company that recruited out-of-state license applicants on Craigslist. State Sen. Karla May, a St. Louis Democrat, sent a letter on Thursday to the state’s Division of Cannabis Regulation and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey demanding action.

Voters approved the microbusiness program last November as a provision in the constitutional amendment that legalized recreational cannabis. May wrote that the program was intended to “rectify past injustices” of cannabis criminalization.

“I condemn these actions as an affront to the principles that guided the citizens’ initiative,” May stated. “The people of Missouri spoke loud and clear in their support for a fair, inclusive cannabis industry that addresses historical disparities. It is disheartening to see bad actors attempt to exploit the system for personal gain, undermining the very opportunities we sought to create.”

May’s letter was sent hours after The Independent published a story revealing that a Michigan real estate group, Canna Zoned MLS, offered to pay eligible people to enter lotteries awarding social equity licenses in Illinois and Missouri. But two applicants told The Independent that they didn’t realize the company’s contracts forced them to relinquish all control and profits of the business, according to an agreement they said they signed.

Read more at missouriindependent.com