Head of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Voted No to Legalization

Flickr / Cannabis Pictures / (CC BY 2.0)

On Aug. 31, 2017, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission appointed Steven Hoffman as the new head of the state agency. According to WCVB, Hoffman, a former business executive, was selected by Massachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who was in charge of choosing a person to lead the Cannabis Control Commission.

Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker’s announcement that Sen. Jennifer Flanagan would be the first person to join the five-member commission raised the eyebrows of advocates, as news broke that Flanagan voted against Question 4, the state’s 2016 marijuana ballot.

It looks like Flanagan will have a friend in Hoffman who also voted against the state’s legalization ballot.

Goldberg, who was required to choose a chair who had extensive experience in business and finance, is unsure of why Hoffman voted no on the measure, but maintained her certainty in her choice, saying, “I am confident that he will serve the Commonwealth well and steer this brand-new industry in the right direction.”

Hoffman, who will serve on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for five years, is already considering his future plans for the state agency. As he explained in a brief statement, he plans to head the commission “thoughtfully and responsibly as we implement the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.”

Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the advocacy group Yes on 4, agreed that Hoffman had noteworthy qualifications to do the job, but worried about the effects of having two marijuana opponents on the commission.

” … we are concerned that a second legalization opponent now sits on the Commission and we hope for balance in the remaining appointments,” Borghesani told WCVB.

There are still three spots open on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, which is supposed to be operational by Sept. 1.

Attorney General Maura Healey is slated to choose a third member by Sept. 1, and assist Baker and Goldberg in choosing the final to two members.

While both Hoffman and Flanagan were selected to sit on the commission, neither have any prior experience in the marijuana industry.

Amanda Taylor is the editorial assistant for Marijuana Industry News. She earned a BA in English and an MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University.

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