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AK Marijuana Board Member Removed, Claims Officials Impeding Industry

A former member of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board alleges that his ex-colleagues and members of Gov. Bill Walker’s administration are trying to delay implementation of the legalized cannabis industry, KTUU 2 reports.

Bruce Schulte was removed from the five-member board by the governor last week, after being demoted from his role as chair of the board earlier this year.

“There’s an underlying agenda to subvert the process, to delay the implementation of a legalized marijuana industry,” Schulte said in the report. “It doesn’t look like the State of Alaska is really serious about making this happen.”

Grace Jang, a spokesperson for the governor, said Schulte’s removal was due to his unsatisfactory approach to the staff and administrative process.

Schulte says that the governor wants a board that is “more favorable to a certain agenda,” but was not sure exactly what that agenda is. He contends that officials are pushing for onerous regulations that will have a negative effect on the industry.

Board member Brandon Emmett, who represents the cannabis industry on the board, called Schulte an “ardent advocate for the marijuana industry.”

“I admired his zeal for staying true to the voter initiative timelines and assuring the industry was fairly represented,” Emmett said in a Juneau Empire report announcing Schulte’s removal from the board. “I can only speculate as to the reason for his removal, but would hope Walker sees fit to insert a strong, responsible voice in his place.”

His replacement has not been announced.

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