The Cannabis Control Commission meets Monday absent its chairwoman after she was all of the sudden suspended from her job final week.
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Deb Goldberg eliminated pot boss Shannon O’Brien from her put up only a 12 months after the previous gubernatorial candidate took the job steering marijuana coverage for the state. The suspension, with pay, was made public the following day.
O’Brien, who beforehand received election as State Treasurer, was appointed to steer the 5 member fee by Goldberg final August. The chairwoman is paid $181,722 per 12 months for her work.
At the time of her appointment, Goldberg stated she was assured that O’Brien’s “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.”
After Thursday’s suspension, it’s fairly clear that a lot can change in the middle of a 12 months.
“During your suspension, you may not return to any of the Commission’s offices or conduct any work on behalf of the Commission,” an e mail despatched to O’Brien final week learn, partly. “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.”
A CCC commissioner, in response to the legislation establishing the fee, will be faraway from their put up by the treasurer, governor or legal professional common if they’re “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.”
O’Brien’s tenure has been stained by some excessive profile gaffs and missteps.
Last September, barely a month into her appointment, the Herald realized O’Brien was concerned with two marijuana cultivation license functions nonetheless to be thought of by the fee. The chairwoman didn’t disclose her associations to the general public.
O’Brien was listed on an utility filed in 2020 by Greenfield Greenery LLC, as an “Owner/Partner” in a proposal to open an outside rising operation occupying upwards of 100,000 sq. ft.
A second utility, by Charlemont FarmWorks LLC, listed O’Brien underneath a bit titled “Our Team” as an adviser, noting her position as the previous state treasurer and as a former state senator.
O’Brien eliminated herself from each companies and was cleared of any impropriety by the CCC’s investigations workers.
This July, the chairwoman shocked her fellow commissioners when she publicly introduced that Executive Director Shawn Collins would go away his put up after six years of service. O’Brien went on to say that the fee she was ostensibly accountable for was “in crisis.”
Collins would later push again on each assertions, saying he had no plans to right away depart the Commission and that he didn’t see his workers working in disaster. Other commissioners went out of their strategy to say O’Brien was talking for herself and never the complete board.
O’Brien apologized for the “angst” she prompted together with her phrases.
The chairwoman didn’t attend a Thursday assembly of the Commission. When Commissioner Kimberly Roy gaveled the group to order, she declared that she would function chair for the day and didn’t remark additional on the matter.
The fee will meet once more on Monday morning at 10 a.m. when its agenda lists grownup use rules for dialogue and doable votes. It is unclear if the remaining commissioners plan to deal with O’Brien’s absence.
O’Brien was elected to a few phrases within the Massachusetts House, spent two years within the state Senate, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor in 2002, an election she misplaced to U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney.
After dropping that election, the CCC Chairwoman entered the non-public sector. She labored for Boston TV station WB 56 earlier than main the Girl Scouts of Greater Boston as CEO.
O’Brien was appointed by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to function chair of the Pension Reform Commission from 2008 to 2010. Through her O’Brien Advisory Group, the chairwoman has labored with clear vitality, monetary providers, well being care, and telecommunications firms.
Herald wire service contributed.