NCIA board reshuffling continues: 1 more marijuana exec quits, others elected

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One board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association has resigned abruptly, and the embattled organization filled nine board seats in its annual election.

Shannon Fender, director of public affairs for Denver-based cannabis retail chain Native Roots, resigned her seat on the board of NCIA on May 3. Fender was just 10 months into her 24-month term when she stepped down.

Her resignation comes on the heels of the January ouster of Rob Kampia from the board, the early departure that month of Denver marijuana pioneer Kayvan Khalatbari, and the December 2017 firing of Chief of Staff Genifer Murray.

Aaron Smith, the organization’s executive director, has been the target of recent criticism.

Without going into detail, Fender told Marijuana Business Daily her time on the board “has led me to reassess my involvement.” She noted she initially “was extremely excited to be voted onto this board.”

The Denver-based organization, which boasts roughly 1,500 cannabis-related businesses as members – also recently held its annual board of directors elections.

According to New Cannabis Ventures, the vote filled nine of 18 total board seats, including three new board members:

  • Mark Passerini, Om of Medicine
  • Michael Steinmetz, Flow Kana
  • Taylor West, Cohnnabis. West is a former NCIA deputy director

Six incumbents were re-elected:

  • Troy Dayton, The Arcview Group
  • Etienne Fontan, Berkeley Patients Group
  • Aaron Justis, Buds & Roses
  • Kris Krane, 4Front Ventures
  • Jaime Lewis, Coldwater Consulting
  • Ean Seeb, Manna Molecular

Board member Lance Ott didn’t seek re-election, saying he didn’t have the time in his schedule.

Incumbents Erich Pearson of SPARC (San Francisco Patient and Resource Center) and John Davis of Northwest Cannabis didn’t receive enough votes to be re-elected, according to Smith.