Massachusetts State Treasurer Suspends Chair Of State Cannabis Agency

Massachusetts State Treasurer Suspends Chair Of State Cannabis Agency
Massachusetts State Treasurer Suspends Chair Of State Cannabis Agency

State Home Information Service | By Colin A. Younger

Revealed September 15, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT

Cannabis Management Fee Chairwoman Shannon O’Brien was suspended from her place Thursday by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who selected her for the job a 12 months in the past, as upheaval continues to collide with the CCC’s hefty regulatory and coverage tasks.

Goldberg’s workplace didn’t say why the treasurer put the O’Brien on a paid suspension, a transfer that the Boston Globe reported earlier Friday afternoon, or whether or not the intention is to in the end take away her from the CCC. A fee spokesperson wouldn’t verify the Globe’s report and stated any questions on O’Brien’s standing with the CCC ought to be directed to the treasurer’s workplace.

A letter that Assistant Treasurer and Chief of Human Assets Swee Lin Wong despatched to O’Brien by electronic mail Thursday stated she was being suspended with pay, efficient instantly.

“During your suspension, you may not return to any of the Commission’s offices or conduct any work on behalf of the Commission,” the letter says. “You will need to return all Commission property, including laptop, cell phone, keys, ID badge, and any Commission documents or files that you may have in your possession, as soon as possible.”

Massachusetts Treasurer’s Workplace

Shannon O’Brien is chair of the Massachusetts Cannabis Management Fee.

O’Brien, who didn’t instantly reply to an electronic mail from the Information Service on Friday, didn’t take part within the CCC assembly Thursday. Commissioner Kimberly Roy stated at first of the assembly that she was “designated as chair today and I will have no further comment pertaining to that.”

The state legislation that dictates how appointments to the CCC are made features a part giving a treasurer (in addition to a governor and legal professional common) the power to take away a commissioner they appointed if the commissioner “is guilty of malfeasance in office; substantially neglects the duties of a commissioner; is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office; commits gross misconduct; or is convicted of a felony.”

The commissioner “shall be provided with a written statement of the reason for removal and an opportunity to be heard” earlier than removing, the law says. It doesn’t seem to talk on to the suspension of a commissioner.

It was a bumpy 12 months as chair of the CCC for O’Brien, a Democrat who served as state treasurer from 1999 till 2003.

The CCC wrestled with thorny and awkward points surrounding O’Brien and her one-time possession stake in a cultivation firm that had an utility earlier than the CCC. She was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

And in July, O’Brien caught commissioners and employees off guard when she introduced that Shawn Collins, the one government director the CCC has had in its six 12 months historical past, was planning to step down on the finish of the 12 months and that he needed to take household go away earlier than then. She stated the scenario put the CCC “in crisis” because it approached the end line for its newest rewrite of hashish business rules.

The chairwoman later apologized for any “angst” or “confusion” she precipitated together with her announcement. Collins publicly pushed again towards the assertion that the CCC was “in crisis” and denied that he had any set plan to go away on the finish of the 12 months.

O’Brien served six years within the Massachusetts Home and two years within the Massachusetts Senate within the late Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, and was the Democratic Occasion’s nominee for governor in 2002 within the election towards Mitt Romney.

After leaving politics, O’Brien labored at Boston TV station WB 56, after which served three years as CEO of the Lady Scouts of Better Boston. She was appointed by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to function chair of the Pension Reform Fee from 2008 to 2010. She’s additionally labored with well being care, clear vitality, monetary providers and telecommunications firms by her O’Brien Advisory Group.

Goldberg picked O’Brien for the CCC chair place in late August 2022. She adopted interim Chair Sarah Kim and inaugural CCC Chair Steven Hoffman. The treasurer is accountable for appointing somebody with a monetary background to chair the marijuana business regulatory physique.

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