Marijuana Control Board member dumped by Walker

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BRUCE SCHULTE SHOWN THE DOOR

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Bruce Schulte, commercial pilot, architect, stand-up comedian and now-former member of the Marijuana Control Board.

Republican activist, pilot, and marijuana legalization advocate Bruce Schulte received his pink slip from Gov. Bill Walker on Friday.

Schulte is not only no longer the chair of the Marijuana Control Board — he was voted out of that seat a couple of months back; now he’s off the board altogether.

Schulte was appointed to the board by Gov. Walker a year ago, and serves in a seat reserved for someone intending to go into the business. As a professional pilot, he doesn’t use marijuana, but he’s thought it would be a great business opportunity and he has been making plans for starting a retail store.

Now, with his departure from the board, he’s not so sure. He doesn’t think he’d ever be able to get a license in the political climate of the day.

“The governor has decided that voters be damned. They’re going to slow-roll the regulations until next year when the governor can propose legislation to repeal legalized marijuana operations. They’ve already tried to delay implementation by six months,” said Schulte. “The board interceded and kept that from happening. Then they tried to give the executive director more control over the board to prevent implementation. Then they got rid of me.”

Asked his advice to those who are preparing to start commercial operations in Alaska, Schulte said: “My advice would be to save your money. Put your money someonewer else, because you cannot trust this administration.”

Schulte’s open position was posted today at the governor’s Boards and Commissions home page. The appointment by the governor requires legislative confirmation.

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New board chairman Peter Mlynarik, who is Soldotna’s chief of police, has been actively working to get signatures on a petition that would put a commercial marijuana prohibition on the borough’s fall ballot.

While he has been working to ban pot on the peninsula, Schulte has been working on starting a commercial operation.

Several localities including the Mat-Su Borough, Wasilla and Palmer have already opted out of commericalized pot. The Kenai Peninsula ban would only pertain to areas outside of city limits.