State’s Cannabis Advisory Board in place

  • In this Feb. 17, 2016 photo, plants grow at the home of Jeremy Nickle, in his backyard in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nickel, who owns Hawaiian Holy Smokes and is applying for a dispensary, grows a variety of strains and has a medical marijuana card. Those wanting to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii face unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters. (AP Photo/Marina Riker) Marina Riker

State House News Service
Published: 8/4/2017 3:52:03 PM

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday morning announced his picks for the Cannabis Advisory Board, the 25-member panel that will examine marijuana regulation, finalizing the first piece of pot bureaucracy.

The governor’s five picks are: Walpole Chief of Police John Carmichael, Jr.; co-founder of the Hempest in Harvard Square and Yes on 4 campaign outreach director Kim Napoli; business management consultant Mary Ann Pesce; co-director of urban food production and sustainability initiative Mill City Grows Lydia Sisson; and CEO of the Urban League of Springfield Inc. Henry Thomas, III.

Under the rewritten marijuana bill Baker signed into law July 28, he was to make his picks by Aug. 1. But until Sept. 1, when the Cannabis Control Commission is set to be announced, the advisory board has no other group to advise.

“Working with their colleagues, the Attorney General, Treasurer, lawmakers, educators, law enforcement, public safety and public health professionals and others, the Cannabis Advisory Board will play an important role in fairly upholding the will of the voters and assisting in the implementation of the enhanced bipartisan legislation enacted last week,” Baker said in a statement.

In making his picks, Baker was guided by the law’s requirements that his five appointees be experts in minority business development, economic development strategies for under-resourced communities, farming or farming interests, employers and municipal law enforcement.

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s appointees are: Norton Arbeláez, founder of Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Industry Group; former Brookline director of public health and human services Dr. Alan Balsam; Sage Naturals president and CEO Michael Dundas; Jaime Lewis, founder of Mountain Medicine; and co-chair of the Northeast Cannabis Coalition Shanel Lindsay.

Attorney General Mara Healey’s appointees are: former secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and former sheriff of Suffolk County Andrea Cabral; Horace Small, executive director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods; Ray Berry, founder of White Lion Brewing Company in Springfield; Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, director of the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation’s entrepreneurship program; and Dr. Sharon Levy, director of adolescent substance abuse at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The Cannabis Advisory Board will also include 10 other members, most of whom are specifically named by title in the law. They include the colonel of the Massachusetts State Police or a designee, the secretary of housing and economic development or a designee, the revenue, public health and agricultural resources commissioners, and the heads of the local ACLU chapter, a medical marijuana patients’ group and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.


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