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CEO DATELINE – Marijuana association ousts founding member from board

Feb. 2, 2018
By Walt Williams

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The National Cannabis Industry Association has removed a member and co-founder from its board of directors after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, Marijuana Business Daily reported.

NCIA’s board of directors voted to oust Rob Kampia “in accordance with our bylaws after an ethics committee review surfaced a pattern of behavior unbecoming of a board member,” Executive Director Aaron Smith wrote in an email to the news site.

Kampia is the founder and former executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. He also helped found NCIA in 2010. Kampia stepped down from his role at MPP last year following allegations he had sexually harassed female staffers at the organization.

The Washington City Paper first reported on the allegations in 2010, but pressure increased on Kampia to resign from MPP given the recent push by many women’s advocates to hold alleged sexual harassers accountable, as exemplified by the #MeToo movement.

Another NCIA member, Kayvan Khalatbari, resigned from board in January because of concerns about the association’s leadership and how it handled sexual harassment allegations against Kampia, Marijuana Business Daily reported. Kampia has denied the allegations and told the news site that he views his removal as a “coup.”

Kampia’s departure is not the only controversy that has taken place at NCIA in recent months. Chief of Staff Genifer Murray left the association in late 2017 and wrote a letter to the board in which she alleged the group was mismanaged and suffered from poor staff morale.