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Utah’s cannabis czar is leaving his job

Days after Utah fully launched its medical marijuana program, the state’s cannabis czar says he’s exiting his role.

Andrew Rigby, Utah’s hemp and medical cannabis program director at the department of agriculture and food, confirmed that he’s leaving his state job in the next week or two. His plan has always been to depart the agency after getting the cannabis cultivation program up and running, he said.

“I’ve had my run. I’m happy. I’ve done my work, and I’m proud of my contributions,” Rigby said Thursday.

Rigby took the helm of the agriculture agency’s cannabis program early last year. Since then, he’s supervised the creation of rules for the newborn cannabis cultivation industry and the selection of the eight companies that would grow the state’s first marijuana crop.

Rigby said he’s invested in a startup that has developed a health care app for medical staffing and that leaving his state job will allow him to take a more active role with the venture. The company, called Nursa, has nothing to do with the cannabis industry, he said, and he has no business ties to any of the state’s medical marijuana companies.

He said he’s prohibited from working in the U.S. cannabis industry until late next year because of a three-year noncompete clause in paperwork he signed when parting ways with a previous marijuana business. The clause included an exception that allowed him to take his job with the state. Even when the noncompete restrictions expire, Rigby said he doesn’t anticipate a return to the marijuana industry. [Read More @ The Salt Lake Tribune]

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