AP NEWS

Dunleavy names new interim head of pot, alcohol agency

November 14, 2019 GMT
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James Hoelscher, the top enforcement officer for the combined office that oversees alcohol and legal marijuana in Alaska, speaks during a marijuana control board meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. Hoelscher was named interim director for the agency after the firing of former director Erika McConnell. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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James Hoelscher, the top enforcement officer for the combined office that oversees alcohol and legal marijuana in Alaska, speaks during a marijuana control board meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. Hoelscher was named interim director for the agency after the firing of former director Erika McConnell. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new interim director has been named to lead the combined agency that regulates alcohol and legal marijuana in Alaska.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office announced Thursday that Glen Klinkhart would be interim director following the firing Wednesday of Erika McConnell by the Marijuana Control Board. His salary is $120,000 .

At the start of the marijuana board meeting Thursday in Anchorage, the agency’s top enforcement officer, James Hoelscher (HOLE’-shur) filled in as interim director. Lacy Wilcox, president of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association board, says Klinkhart was late introduced.

Klinkhart since August has been the director of drug policy for the state health department. From January through August, he oversaw management of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute during restructuring. He also spent 17 years as an investigator and detective with the Anchorage Police Department.