Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has just appointed an opponent of cannabis legalization to serve on a new state commission that will oversee and regulate the state's legal marijuana industry. State Senator Jen Flanagan is the first of five appointees to the Cannabis Control Commission, which has the authority to approve cannabis licenses, set standards for cannabis products, limit advertising, and create security regulations for canna-businesses.
Last year, state Senator Flanagan joined a group of 119 state legislators who opposed the ballot measure to legalize cannabis. Flanagan, along with the other members of this anti-legalization group, signed onto a public letter that said: “Allowing the billion-dollar marijuana industry into Massachusetts to market highly potent edible products, particularly during an addiction crisis, is the wrong path for the state.”
Flanagan is actually the second opponent of legalization that Baker has appointed to oversee the state's legal cannabis industry. Earlier this month, the governor appointed Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael to an advisory group that will guide the CCC. “As he did with Chief John Carmichael, the governor has placed a legalization opponent on a key regulatory committee,” said cannabis advocate Jim Borghesani. “We hope that Senator Flanagan will put her personal position aside in order to advance the will of Massachusetts voters.”
The other four members of the CCC will be appointed by September 1st. Flanagan is expected to resign her state Senate seat on August 21st to begin her new position.