Lance Lucas, the Baltimore businessman who pleaded guilty earlier this year for bribing former Maryland delegate Cheryl Glenn to gain favor for companies applying for medicinal cannabis licenses was sentenced last week. He was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison which will be followed by three years of supervised release. In July, Glenn was sentenced to two years in federal prison for accepting bribes
“I’ve spent my whole entire adult life giving to those less fortunate than myself,” Lucas said during his sentencing. “I let down my students, my mother, my teachers.”
Lucas gave Glenn 11 payments adding up to $42,500 in a bribery scheme that began in May 2018 and continued to July 2019. Glenn was indicted in December 2019 and pleaded guilty in January 2020. Lucas pleaded guilty in March of this year. At the time, the assumption was Glenn had been cooperating with the federal government but it seems as though it was Lucas who was cooperating. The Baltimore Sun’s reporting cited Lucas’ sentencing memorandum (which is currently unavailable on federal court databases) to confirm that Lucas cooperated with the FBI and secretly recorded his exchanges with Glenn: “According to a sentencing memorandum from his attorney, Lucas agreed to help the FBI take down Glenn. He made recorded phone calls, wore a hidden camera, sent text messages and wore a wire,” the Sun reported.
In court documents, both Lucas and Glenn are quoted as saying incredibly incriminating—and outrageous—things while being recorded. Glenn is quoted as boasting that applicants get what they want because, “they know God and Cheryl Glenn.” And during one meeting with Glenn, Lucas told her, “I’m from Baltimore for real, for real. This is the least illegal thing I’ve ever done.”
During the sentencing, Judge Catherine Blake noted that bribery appears to be “a continuing problem in [Maryland],” describing it as “pay-to-play culture—the culture of corruption.” Blake was also the judge in Cheryl Glenn’s case as well as that of Baltimore’s disgraced mayor Catherine Pugh and the Gun Trace Task Force police scandal.
Earlier this month, the Maryland Medicinal Cannabis Commission—full name, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (named after Glenn’s mother)—released a report that found “no evidence of bias or undue influence” in how 2019 licenses were awarded.
Some of significant questions surrounding this Glenn bribery case remain: Who are “Company 2” and “Company 3,” both involved in the cannabis business in Maryland and named in Lucas’ guilty plea? Company 2, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “was awarded a Stage One license pre-approval for a medical marijuana dispensary license by the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, and sought final approval from the Cannabis Commission.” And Company 3, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “applied for a medical marijuana growing license in May 2019.”