Former State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien Tapped as New Chair of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
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Former State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien Tapped as New Chair of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

O’Brien was sworn in Sept. 1, on the fifth anniversary of the commission’s founding.

September 7, 2022

Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg announced last week that former state Treasurer Shannon O’Brien has been appointed as the new chair of the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), according to CommonWealth Magazine.

O’Brien was sworn in Sept. 1, on the fifth anniversary of the commission’s founding, the news outlet reported.

“I am confident that her financial background, experience in corporate governance, executive management, and business development, combined with outstanding leadership skills and an acute knowledge of the legislative process, will help the Massachusetts cannabis industry be fairly regulated, equitable, and successful,” Goldberg told CommonWealth Magazine.

The CCC announced in May that former Chairman Steve Hoffman had resigned in late April and that Deputy Treasurer Sarah Kim had been appointed as the interim chairwoman.

RELATED: Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Resigns, Deputy Treasurer Appointed as Interim Chairwoman

Goldberg was responsible for appointing Hoffman’s successor and accepted applications for the position through early June, although Kim did not apply for the permanent role, CommonWealth Magazine reported.

“I look forward to working with the other commissioners, agency staff, and stakeholders to ensure that this industry is well regulated while enhancing economic benefits for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” O’Brien said in a statement to the news outlet.

O’Brien is focused on creating new economic opportunities for diverse communities and those previously harmed by the war on drugs, CommonWealth Magazine reported, and will work to implement a newly passed law that aims to increase diversity in the state’s cannabis industry.

RELATED: Massachusetts Governor Signs Legislation to Increase Diversity in State’s Cannabis Industry

O’Brien has past experience in state government, according to the news outlet; she was elected to the Massachusetts House in 1986, at the age of 27, and then to the state Senate in 1992. She unsuccessfully ran for state treasurer in 1994 before running again in 1998 and serving one term. In addition, O’Brien won the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts gubernatorial race but lost to Republican Mitt Romney in the general election.

O’Brien has since worked as a television reported, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Boston and the chair of a New York state pension reform commission, CommonWealth Magazine reported. She also founded the O’Brien Advisory Group, a business consulting firm, and chairs Goldberg’s Baby Bonds task force.