SAN FRANCISCO — The outgoing U.S. attorney in Northern California says his decision to leave the job was not spurred by Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new marijuana policy.

Brian Stretch said Friday it was the natural time in his career to move on to new challenges, and he had spent a fair amount of time in 2017 identifying a good opportunity to practice law privately.

Stretch will join the law firm Sidley Austin’s San Francisco office.

Stretch was appointed U.S. attorney in 2016 for a region that includes the San Francisco Bay Area. His last day is Saturday.

His departure allows Sessions to appoint an interim U.S. attorney just as the attorney general announced a new policy allowing U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to prosecute marijuana in states where it’s legal.

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