Federal complaint: Pot farm used in Ponzi scheme

SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities say a Washington state cannabis farm was used in an elaborate Ponzi scheme. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint, the scheme took in $4.85 million from investors. The SEC says a Washington state man and his California business partner spent investors’ money on luxuries including a Porsche, a Bentley and a yacht. Federal officials say the case is symptomatic of the gold-rush mentality of cannabis sales. The Seattle Times reports the case underscores the challenges of an industry where high startup costs and scarce bank financing might tempt operators to seek investment outside state-approved channels.