- LR SOIREE
- MARY ROBIN CASTEEL
Gov. Asa Hutchinson today made Mary Robin Casteel director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, which now has medical marijuana regulation among its duties.
He named Casteel interim director in May after Bud Roberts departed for unannounced reasons (though it was believed to have been at the governor’s encouragement.)
“The ABC faces a number of challenges in the near future, and continuity of leadership will help ensure the success of the agency,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Mary Robin has proven herself a capable leader and an authority on ABC operations. We’re glad she’s agreed to stay on.”
Casteel, a licensed attorney, had previously submitted her resignation and planned to return to private practice. The former director, Bud Roberts, resigned May 26th, and Casteel agreed to serve as interim director at that time.
Casteel, 38, joined ABC in 2013. The ABC regulates the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in Arkansas, and currently oversees more than 5,000 permit holders in the state. Under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, which voters adopted in November, the ABC will also regulate licensed dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the coming months related to medical marijuana, as well as the always busy work of regulating alcohol,” Casteel said. “But we have a good team, and I’m glad to remain a part of it.”
Casteel had made $73,000 as staff attorney and Roberts made about $89,000 as ABC director. She received some pay raise on her elevation to interim director and now will move to $88,986.