Home News Business These Five People Will Help Oversee MA Recreational Marijuana Industry

These Five People Will Help Oversee MA Recreational Marijuana Industry

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Deborah Goldberg
Deborah Goldberg

Just an hour after Gov. Baker signed legislation solidifying the state’s new laws on recreational marijuana, State Treasurer Deb Goldberg already has appointments to one of the oversight boards.

Goldberg announced five appointments to the Cannabis Advisory Board on Friday afternoon. The board will eventually have 25 members, and has been tasked with studying and making recommendations on regulation marijuana within the state. Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey will also appoint five members a piece. The remaining members will be ex officio appointees with specific expertise and knowledge.

Appointments to the board have to be made by August 1, 2017.

Goldberg has been critical that the Legislature’s process to review state laws on recreational oversight has introduced delays, and has been eager to make appointments to move regulation along.

The advisory board will work in concert with a five-member Cannabis Control Commission, which will ultimately enact regulations and be responsible for overseeing the market.

Among the newly appointed board members:

Norton Arbeláez — Arbeláez founded RiverRock Medical Marijuana Center in Denver in 2009, after seeing the medical potential of the drug when a family member used it for palliative use. He currently serves as that company’s Chief Legal Officer. He has also served on the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, the City of Denver’s Medical Marijuana Workgroup, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Amendment 64 regulatory task force. In 2010, he founded the non-profit lobbying group Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Industry Group, and currently services on the group’s board of directors.

Dr. Alan Balsam — An adjunct associate professor at Tufts Medical School and Boston University (BU) School of Public Health, Balsam served as director of Public Health and Human Services in Brookline for 21 years. Balsam was also instrumental in overseeing the creation of a medical cannabis dispensary in Brookline, including regulatory oversight. Prior to that, he created and led the Division of Elder Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for seven years.

Michael Dundas — Dundas is president and CEO of Massachusetts marijuana dispensary Sage Naturals, Inc., which has licenses to operate in Cambridge, Somerville and Needham. Before being named CEO in 2014, Mr. Dundas worked as the dispensary’s chief compliance officer, where he drafted the organization’s application for state licensure and then shepherded the company through the regulatory process. Dundas also helped form the Commonwealth Dispensaey Association and serves on its board.

Jaime Lewis — Lewis currently works at Mayflower Medicinals, btu has over a decade of experience in medical marijuana dispensary operations. She has served as chief operation officer of a dispensary in Colorado, and is the founder of Mountain Medicine, an infused cannabis product manufacturer and distributor to Colorado dispensaries. Lewis also was a founding member of the Cannabis Business Alliance, an influential trade organization that functions as the Colorado industry’s chamber of commerce, and a current board member and chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Shanel Lindsay — An attorney and cannabis advocate, Lindsay is currently founder and president of Ardent LLC, a biotech company and medical cannabis company. An active member of the National Bar Association, Lindsay has helped develop the Nova and Ardent suite of products for medicinal cannabis use, and is a founding member and co-chair of the Northeast Cannabis Coalition and board member of the Massachusetts Patients Advocacy Alliance. Previously, she worked as a judicial law clerk for the Massachusetts Superior Court. She then joined the Boston law firm of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak and Cohen, serving as a civil litigator before becoming Employment Counsel and Director of Human Resources for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission.