When Denver marijuana pioneer Kayvan Khalatbari announced his resignation from the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) in December, he intended to continue serving in the role until spring.
But Khalatbari abruptly stepped down on Monday, telling Marijuana Business Daily he did so because of mounting frustrations with the organization’s direction and leadership.
He also expressed concerns about how NCIA – the largest and longest-running national trade association in the marijuana industry – has handled sexual misconduct allegations against fellow board member and leading legalization advocate Rob Kampia.
NCIA’s executive director refutes Khalatbari’s claims, saying the organization is on firm footing and growing rapidly.
And Kampia, who founded the Marijuana Policy Project and until recently served as its executive director, denies the misconduct allegations.
Khalatbari’s early departure and criticisms, however, come after NCIA axed a notable marijuana industry player who served as chief of staff for just six weeks.
The developments have led to speculation that the organization is experiencing turmoil and that some key members are unhappy with its current path.