ST. PAUL (WJON News) - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has appointed James Rowader as the Executive Director of the Cannabis Expungement Board.

The Cannabis Expungement Board was created to review felony and misdemeanor-level cannabis-related convictions to determine if the conviction needs to be resentenced or removed due to the newly legal status of cannabis in Minnesota.

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Governor Walz is excited to get the examination process started.

I’m proud to appoint James Rowader as executive director of the Cannabis Expungement Board. The board will play a critical role in addressing and reducing disparities in our criminal justice system. Rowader has demonstrated leadership and legal talent across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and I’m confident in his ability to lead this work.

Rowader is currently the Director of People and Culture for the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and was previously a city attorney for Minneapolis.

I am honored and humbled to be appointed by Governor Walz as the Executive Director of the Cannabis Expungement Board. 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. I am truly excited to apply my leadership experiences and continue to do meaningful and impactful work to address these disparities as the inaugural leader of this important organization dedicated to the review of cannabis felonies for expungement or resentencing. I am thankful to the Governor for this unique and important opportunity.

Before working in the public sector, Rowader was with Target Corporation, rising to Vice-President and General Council for Employee and Labor Relations.

Rowader will begin his duties on March 25th.



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