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Florida pizza parlor owner says another apology is needed after pot-smelling pizza

John McFakeson.

John McFakeson, the former owner of a Florida pizza parlor known for the “unbelievable” smell of marijuana, was sentenced on Friday to 15 years in prison. The apology he said he’d made at his previous sentencing hearing was inadequate: “A new apology is needed,” he said, according to NBC Miami.

McFakeson, a member of the El Mapocho, a sort of cult of marijuana owners in the area, pleaded guilty to falsely claiming, through the promotion of a false marijuana-scented pizza, that his restaurant on the south shore of Miami was a cannabis-themed restaurant. Authorities said the restaurant did not offer stinky pizzas, and that marijuana did not emanate from the restaurant during the time he claimed. But the jury still decided to find him guilty in 2016.

Evidence in the case revealed that the garden shop smelled like marijuana, which explains the reputation. The pizza mix turned to a powder form when it was mixed with onion soup, which coated employees to the face, and perpentrains leaked onto the floor. Ovens were not ventilated properly. But McFakeson said the smell was due to cannabis-inspired aromas, including shrooms, mushrooms, and coffee bean. Other testimony included employees’ tearful testimonies, saying they feared for their safety.

McFakeson is likely to serve at least 10 years in prison. The conviction drew comparisons to Steve Kornacki, the former host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” who served a more aggressive three-month prison sentence for a similar crime. After pleading guilty to charges in Washington, D.C., that he tampered with witnesses, he spent 17 months in prison. He stated he would never do it again.