Watch CBS News

James Rowader to serve as executive director of Cannabis Expungement Board

Morning headlines from Feb. 21, 2024
Morning headlines from Feb. 21, 2024 02:46

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday former Minneapolis City Attorney James Rowader will serve as the executive director of the new Cannabis Expungement Board.

Rowader is currently the director of people and culture for the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. He will start as executive director with the new board on March 25, the governor's office says. 

"Throughout my career, I have been focused on supporting efforts to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in the employment space and criminal justice system," Rowader said. "I am truly excited to apply my leadership experiences and continue to do meaningful and impactful work to address these disparities..."

RELATED: Minnesota auditor found flaws in hiring process of cannabis leader, but says special review not needed

Under the Adult-Use Cannabis Act, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is required to eliminate and automatically expunge certain low-level cannabis-related records from its system once "technical and programmatic changes can be implemented in the BCA's Criminal History System," according to the Department of Public Safety.

Convictions that don't qualify for automatic expungement, including felony and certain misdemeanor convictions, will go to the Cannabis Expungement Board for review. The board will determine if convictions are eligible for expungement or resentencing to a lesser offense. It is independent of the BCA.

The board hopes to begin reviewing cases by the end of the year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.