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Lansing 'professor of pot' sentenced to more than 15 years in prison

A jar of marijuana flower sitting on a glass counter
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio

A Lansing man who owned and operated dispensaries throughout Michigan was sentenced to fifteen years and eight months in prison.

Danny Trevino, who called himself “the professor of pot,” was convicted on ten counts of marijuana trafficking. He operated a dispensary called Hydroworld with storefronts in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Flint, Mount Pleasant, and Jackson.


Trevino had prior drug felony convictions for cocaine and marijuana.


While Trevino could have possessed 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and had up to 12 marijuana plants for his own use, he could not be a licensed caregiver who could grow and sell marijuana because of his previous convictions. 

Patrick Miles is a former United States attorney for the western district of Michigan. He says Trevino’s record indicated a total lack of regard for the law.

“I believe that he was probably sentenced at the lower end of the federal guidelines, but he was not interested in complying with the law, whether it was the state law, and he was certainly out of compliance with federal law.”

According to reports, law enforcement searched Trevino’s various locations 11 times between 2010 and 2016, and notified him that his behavior was illegal. Searching two of Trevino’s locations in Lansing in 2016, law enforcement found growing operations of 100 and 500 marijuana plants. Estimates of Trevino’s gross sales were close to $3 million.


Miles says that federal authorities are usually focusing on what they perceive to be more immediate threats to communities: potentially lethal drugs like opioids and heroin. As a result, he says marijuana vendors probably won’t get the same treatment as Trevino.


“Mr. Trevino had no interest in complying with applicable law, whether it was state or federal, and he was just interested in flouting the law and making a lot of money. For people who comply with the Michigan marijuana laws, I doubt that they're going to face any kind of federal prosecution.”

Trevino’s defense attorney, Nicholas Bostic, said that Trevino thought what he was doing was legal. This is despite a 2016 Facebook post made after law enforcement used a warrant to search one of his shops, wherein Trevino wrote, “I guess Hydroworld is illegal. Lol OK.”

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Caroline is a third year history major at the University of Michigan. She also works at The Michigan Daily, where she has been a copy editor and an opinion columnist. When she’s not at work, you can find her down at Argo Pond as a coxswain for the Michigan men’s rowing team. Caroline loves swimming, going for walks, being outdoors, cooking, trivia, and spending time with her two-year-old cat, Pepper.
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