Northam appoints members to newly created cannabis boards
Boards will regulate cannabis market and manage equity fund
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has appointed members to three newly created oversight boards for the legalization of recreational marijuana, his office announced today.
On July 1, Virginia’s adult-use cannabis legislation changes began going into effect. This year, the General Assembly legalized possession of up to one ounce in public and home cultivation of up to four plants per household for people ages 21 and over and created a new state entity to regulate retail marijuana sales, which are expected to begin in 2024, pending further regulatory approval from the General Assembly.
“There is a tremendous amount of work ahead to establish an adult-use marijuana market in our commonwealth, and I am proud to appoint these talented Virginians who will bring diverse backgrounds, an incredible depth of expertise and a shared commitment to public service to this important effort,” Northam said in a statement.
The first agency, the Cannabis Control Authority, will have a five-member board of directors responsible for regulating the sale, transportation and distribution of marijuana and marijuana products in Virginia.
The five directors appointed are:
- Neil Amin, CEO, Shamin Hotels, Chester
- Michael Jerome Massie, owner, Michael Jerome Massie PC, Portsmouth
- Bette Brand, CEO, Strategic Consulting LLC, Roanoke
- Rasheeda N. Creighton, co-founder, The Jackson Ward Collective, Richmond
- Shane Emmett, co-founder and former CEO, Health Warrior, Midlothian
The second board, the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board, will manage the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund, which will come from 30% of tax revenue from cannabis sales. It will be used to provide resources to communities that have experienced disproportionate enforcement of drug laws and economic disinvestment, according to the governor’s statement. The governor appointed five members to the equity fund’s board, and the General Assembly will appoint eight more. The board also has seven ex-officio members.
The governor’s appointments are:
- Jorge Figueredo, executive director, Edu-Futuro, Arlington
- Amari Harris, equity, diversity and inclusion attorney, Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, Richmond
- Anthony West, chief operating officer, Virginia Community Action Re-Entry System (CARES), Roanoke
- Sheba Williams, executive director, Nolef Turns Inc., Richmond
- Vickie R. Williams-Cullins, executive director, OPN-Door Communications LLC, Hampton
The Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council will advise the Cannabis Control Authority’s board of directors. The governor appointed four members, and the General Assembly will appoint 10 more. The council also has seven ex-officio members.
The governor appointed:
- Ngiste Abebe, vice president of public policy, Columbia Care, Richmond
- Larry Keen II, associate professor of psychology, Virginia State University, Petersburg
- Cynthia Morrow, director, Roanoke city and Alleghany County health districts, Roanoke
- Marcus Treiber, CEO, EMT Holdings LLC, Leesburg