Rob Kampia removed from National Cannabis Industry Association board

Rob Kampia, the embattled former chief of the Marijuana Policy Project, was removed from the board of directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association this week, Marijuana Business Daily has learned.

Kampia’s ouster adds to recent turmoil at the NCIA and raises questions about the organization’s future.

“NCIA’s Board of Directors voted to remove Rob Kampia in accordance with our bylaws after an ethics committee review surfaced a pattern of behavior unbecoming of a board member,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the NCIA, wrote in an email to MJBizDaily.

Reached Thursday night, Kampia called his ouster a “coup” by other board members.

He also blasted the organization – which he co-founded in 2010 – as “a broken institution.”

Kampia said he recently was investigated by an NCIA subcommittee, which, he said, did not consider testimony from any “positive or even neutral” parties.

Former board member Kayvan Khalatbari had filed an ethics complaint with the NCIA regarding sexual misconduct allegations against Kampia. Kampia has denied those allegations.

Denver-based NCIA is a prominent group that represents a wide swath of the marijuana sector, boasting roughly 1,500 cannabis-related businesses as members.

“It’s important to remember that I was duly elected by the membership,” Kampia said, adding that he hasn’t yet ruled out legal action against NCIA for removing him from the board.

He also predicted a “mutiny” by NCIA members when they learn of his removal and suggested it could lead to a “hemorraghing” of membership numbers.

Smith said a statement will be issued Friday morning to NCIA members regarding Kampia’s removal.

Smith did not elaborate on the circumstances, but in an email Friday morning wrote that he’s “confident that our growth is not dependent on any one individual’s presence on or departure from our Board of Directors.”

Rob Kampia

Rather, Kampia said, the NCIA board sided with seven people who said he had “caused them some level of discomfort in the past seven years.”

“I’m guilty of ‘subjective discomfort,’” Kampia said. “It’s all about public relations and image.

“They had no evidence that I had done anything illegal or actionable.”

Kampia was cited as one of the reasons that Khalatbari resigned his NCIA board seat in December.

In November, Kampia stepped down as executive director of MPP, and was originally slated to remain on staff.

He then left the organization entirely in December.

Kampia reiterated Thursday night that he plans to focus on a new cannabis reform organization called the Marijuana Leadership Campaign.

He also said he’ll be accepting membership applications and donations during NCIA’s seed-to-sale show in Denver next week.

4 comments on “Rob Kampia removed from National Cannabis Industry Association board
  1. Janice Bickel on

    In professional organizations, those leaving or asked to leave don’t do so with outspoken bitter rancor and accusations publicized in trade magazines. If you hurt the industry that way, you really didn’t serve us to start. These are rotating positions, and it’s set up that way for a reason.
    If the Cannabis industry – and its members in industry organizations like the NCIA – are to be respected as professional, legitimate commercial business persons, it’s members will behave in the standard for professional organizations. And demand that their peers do the same.

    Reply
      • Gin on

        Let the truth be known:
        1. Rob stepped down (and was not fired) from MPP due to lobbying/competion concerns and not behavioral issues.
        2. Sexual allegations were made–no proof, no charges. I do not take this lightly, mind you. I, myself, am a victim of rape, and my sister suffered through rape and molestation. Really though, isn’t it interesting how Rob’s name was dragged through the mud (again) when it was trendy or popular or convenient for reporters during the #metoo movement (Fall 2017)? Hm. Well those allegations were actually made back in Summer 2009…..
        3. As long as popular culture insists on behaving all butt hurt about overly-surveiled and imperfect humans acting human, be prepared for slower progress and even more inaccurate news articles. Remember in history class, learning about good old FDR hiding his weak and braced legs from the American public? I wonder what else politicians we’re getting away with; long before the current, cringe-worthy impulse to record every dull minute of our repetitive, uninteresting lives. Admit it–zombies who sit all day while staring at a screen are no fun.
        4. Abrasive yet intelligent people are easily remembered, create a variety of reactions in their audience, and become a catalyst for change.
        5. Not a truth, but a friendly reminder: Speak to others as you would like to be spoken to. Karma, Bro.
        6. Anyone with a smart phone can write an article.

        Reply

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