Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board Fires Its Director
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The board that regulates Alaska’s legal marijuana industry voted Wednesday to fire the director it shares with state alcohol regulators, a move director Erika McConnell maintained lacked justification.
The Marijuana Control Board voted 3-2 to fire McConnell, following last month’s vote by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to dismiss her. Wednesday’s vote came at the end of a daylong meeting in Anchorage, with McConnell delivering a fiery speech in which she said Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration appeared to want her out before wishing members well for the remaining two days of meetings.
McConnell’s removal was subject to both boards agreeing.
Marijuana Control Board member Bruce Schulte said he had no unkind words about McConnell but thought a change in leadership was appropriate. Board chairman Mark Springer said McConnell has done a good job and the push to oust her appeared in part to be “something of a railroad job” related to a dispute over allowable activities in breweries and distilleries. Springer said the alcohol industry is powerful.
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Chairman Bob Klein last month praised McConnell’s work ethic and administrative skills. But Klein said he saw a disconnect between the board’s wishes and how