DOJ Whistleblower: Bill Barr Improperly Targeted Cannabis Company Mergers
John Elias, a career Department of Justice (DOJ) employee turned whistleblower, is expected to testify today that Bill Barr, U.S. Attorney General and leader of the DOJ, targeted cannabis suppliers due to his personal beliefs about cannabis. The allegations by Elias are outlined in a post on the CNN Politics site, which says that investigations into mergers and acquisitions within the cannabis industry were motivated by Barr’s anti-cannabis stance.
While cannabis company mergers made up a small percentage of M & A activity throughout the U.S. during Barr’s time at the DOJ, 29% of the department’s Antitrust Division’s probes targeted cannabis companies, according to Elias. He is quoted in the article as saying, “Rejecting the analysis of career staff, Attorney General Barr ordered the Antitrust Division to issue Second Request subpoenas. The rationale for doing so centered not on an antitrust analysis, but because he did not like the nature of their underlying business.”