WORCESTER, Mass., April 13, 2021 – PRESS RELEASE – Cannabis Control Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan announced she will step down from her seat on April 30, ending a 25-year career of public service in Massachusetts.
Most recently, Gov. Charlie Baker had appointed her to serve a four-year term as the Cannabis Control Commission’s public health representative in accordance with Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 starting Sept. 1, 2017.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to Gov. Baker for the opportunity to serve as the public health appointee to the commission,” Flanagan said. “My motivation for accepting his appointment, and my primary goal throughout my term, has been to ensure the public health of Massachusetts residents remained a priority as the commonwealth regulated legal cannabis. I believe my contributions have kept that focus front and center as the commission has drafted and updated its regulations over the past three and a half years.”
“Commissioner Flanagan has been a strong advocate for public health throughout her long career of service for the people of Massachusetts and brought this expertise to her role on the Cannabis Control Commission,” Baker said. “Lt. Gov. Polito and I thank Jennifer for her willingness to serve on the commission, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We are in the process of reviewing candidates to serve in this seat and expect to make an announcement soon.”
Throughout her service to the commission, Flanagan offered a strong voice for the health and wellness of Massachusetts residents by advocating for patients and working to create and build out the agency’s award-winning public awareness campaign, among other accomplishments. More About Marijuana, which highlights the risks of underage consumption, responsible adult use, and the dangers of home cultivation and manufacturing, among other important messages, was honored with a Telly award in the campaign (local TV) category and a MarCom award in its website category.
“The commonwealth’s patients, consumers, parents and youth have greatly benefited from Commissioner Flanagan’s leadership over the past three and a half years,” Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman said. “Her vocal advocacy for public health will continue to safeguard Massachusetts residents long after she concludes her service to the commission, and her attention on Positive Impact Plans and Diversity Plans has helped us further our mandate to support and include disproportionately impacted communities in the legal industry.”
“The commonwealth is a healthier, safer, and more empathetic place because of Commissioner Flanagan’s career in public service,” Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins said. “First as an effective legislative aide and lawmaker, and most recently as a regulator, Commissioner Flanagan worked tirelessly on behalf of her constituents and the people most in need of protection and advocacy. She has succeeded in ensuring that public health has and maintains a seat at the table when it comes to policymaking and regulating cannabis in Massachusetts.”
Prior to her appointment to the commission, Flanagan served as a state senator for the Worcester and Middlesex District, co-authoring the landmark 2014 and 2016 laws addressing substance-use disorder. She has dedicated her career to advocating for mental health, public health and disability services.
Flanagan graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Master of Science degree in mental health counseling and the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.