Dan Greenberg, named the chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in February by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, just ahead of the board’s assuming new duties in regulation of medical marijuana, is resigning from the board and moving with his family to Washington, D.C. sources tell me.
My sources say he’s taking a job in the Trump Administration, perhaps in the Labor Department and related to business licensure. Deregulating business licensure has been a long passion of Greenberg as president of a conservative think tank, the Advance Arkansas Institute. Greenberg is also a lawyer and former Republican state representative who lost his last legislative race, for state Senate, against Jeremy Hutchinson. I couldn’t reach Greenberg tonight by phone or e-mail.
No word yet on who might be named to succeed Greenberg. The alcohol industry will be watching closely, but the board’s important role in marijuana regulation might be of more immediate importance. The ABC has already adopted rules on advertising, transportation, edibles and other facets of the newly authorized medical marijuana business. A separate commission is reviewing applications for permits from potential growers and sellers. The Health Department also has some supervisory duties.
UPDATE: Just heard back from Dan, who confirms he’s off to Washington. His note:
As of Monday, I started a new job as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor in DC. Technically, I am in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy. It was a hard decision because I like living in Arkansas and I enjoyed my work at the Advance Arkansas Institute and in state government.
There are not many job offers that would have encouraged me to leave the home where I have been living 15 years and the state where I lived most of my life. But this was pretty close to an unrefusable opportunity. A central focus of my new job is the reform of overextensive occupational licensure laws and regulations, which is an issue that AAI has been involved in heavily for most of its life. There is bipartisan agreement on the importance of this reform. As you likely know, this was a policy interest for the Obama Administration; it is also a policy interest of the current Administration and more particularly the Secretary of Labor. The fact is that America has plenty of capable and qualified people who are ready to work, but who are held back by legal barriers that favor incumbents and block entry into labor markets. Some of these barriers seem to have little or nothing to do with benefiting the people. That is a moral outrage, and I am grateful that I was asked to work on this issue at DOL.
Perhaps I should have made some sort of announcement on the blog or something. I have just been too busy with the transition to think much about that stuff.
Marjorie and the kids are coming up in a week or so to look at houses and schools.