State officials reviewing appointment process after cannabis director debacle

Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) confirmed its staff started a preliminary inquiry into the governor’s appointment process following the withdrawal of the state’s first cannabis director.

Erin DuPree, who Gov. Tim Walz announced would serve as the director of the Office of Cannabis Management, announced on Sept. 22 that she would not be moving forward with the job. DuPree was slated to begin overseeing the office in October.

RELATED: State’s new cannabis director backs out of job one day after being selected

The process was sidetracked after it was discovered that her Apple Valley cannabis business sold some products with more than the legal amount of THC allowed in Minnesota. She also has multiple civil judgments and tax liens on her record, according to court documents reviewed by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

An OLA spokesperson confirmed that their intent is to “look at the vetting and review process” used by the governor’s office rather than Dupree’s hiring specifically.

OLA added that the inquiry is in the beginning stages and more information is needed before reaching a decision to launch an investigation or special review.

Walz said last week that he’s trying to figure out how DuPree got through a vetting process.

“I’ll go back and ask my team why. They go to a lot of process before they get to me,” he said at a MinnPost media event. “This is about transparency and accountability in government. I own this one. We’ll get the right person in there.”

RELATED: Apple Valley businesswoman appointed as Minnesota’s first cannabis management director

RELATED: As search for state cannabis director restarts, Walz says lesson learned

RELATED: Cannabis director search to start over as questions remain