'Los Angeles' Magazine Issues Retraction for Cannabis Corruption Article – Santa Barbara Independent

Santa Barbara’s Interim Police Chief Bernard Melekian announced he’s contracted with a firm that specializes in investigating public safety agencies to look into conflict-of-interest allegations in an article published by Los Angeles magazine against Anthony Wagner, the department’s public information officer and community relations advisor. 

The article alleged that Wagner had been a business partner with one of the principals of a San Diego–based cannabis dispensary company, Golden State Greens, that sought and received one of the three cannabis dispensary permits issued by the City of Santa Barbara two years ago. Wagner was one of five high-ranking city employees charged with evaluating the applications submitted by individuals and companies competing for the coveted permits. 

The article, written by freelance reporter, former screenwriter, and until recently Santa Barbara resident Mitchell Kriegman alleged that cannabis entrepreneur Micah Anderson had been a principal with Golden State Greens when it successfully sought the city’s permit. Anderson had been business partners with Wagner when the two lived in San Diego and operated a consulting firm together specializing in cannabis permitting. Wagner moved to Santa Barbara in 2017 at the instigation of former Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow, who hired him

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