- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An official hired to lead Oregon’s preparations to regulate recreational marijuana says he’s been terminated.

The Oregonian reports (https://is.gd/siULnH) that Tom Burns confirmed his termination on Thursday afternoon. Burns oversaw the rollout of the state’s medical marijuana dispensary program. He was tapped last December to direct marijuana programs for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Burns declined further comment, referring questions to commission Executive Director Steven Marks, who was not immediately reachable for comment. The liquor control commission’s chairman, Rob Patridge, declined comment, calling it “a personnel matter.”

The newspaper says the agency’s licensing director, Will Higlin, will take over the job until a permanent replacement is found.

The agency said Burns’ departure will not affect the timeline for drafting rules for a regulated recreational marijuana industry.

A voter-approved marijuana initiative requires the liquor control commission to come up with regulations for growing, testing and distributing marijuana. Sales are expected to begin early in 2016.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com


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