Pot board chairman sparks concern over his departure
He left in a puff.
The Cannabis Control Commission has been without a chairperson for a week as the agency acknowledged Monday that Chairman Steven Hoffman resigned from the job effective April 25.
Hoffman’s departure comes about four months before his five-year inaugural term on the body that regulates legal marijuana in Massachusetts was due to expire and almost a year and a half after Hoffman became the only original CCC member left on the panel.
The CCC did not answer questions Monday about its contingency plans for the period that it is without a chairperson.
“Chairman Hoffman’s contributions over the past four and a half years were integral to the growth and maturation of the Commission and the legal cannabis industry in Massachusetts. The agency thanks the Chair for his commitment to ensuring a safe, effective, and accessible marketplace in our state,” a CCC spokesperson said in a statement.
The Boston Globe first reported Hoffman’s resignation Monday, citing an email sent from a CCC official to members of the Cannabis Advisory Board.
It is unclear why the CCC went a week without acknowledging the resignation of its chairman. The agency on Monday referred questions to the office of Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who appointed Hoffman to the CCC. Goldberg’s office did not immediately respond to questions from the News Service.
Hoffman was a retired business executive and former Bain and Co. partner when Goldberg chose him in 2017 to lead the state’s efforts to get a recreational marijuana industry off the ground. He had voted in opposition to the 2016 ballot question that legalized marijuana for adults.
During his time as chairman, Hoffman was vocal about the need for marijuana companies to have access to banking services and for social equity applicants to have greater access to start-up capital. The CCC recently revamped its legislative and executive branch outreach strategy and cheered the inclusion of several of the agency’s priorities in a bill passed by the Senate last month.
Goldberg will be charged with appointing Hoffman’s successor on the CCC and her pick is required to have corporate management, finance or securities experience. Goldberg is also responsible for designating the chairperson of the commission.
Hoffman’s departure comes after the board announced it is launching an online catalog of the myriad marijuana products available at the state’s pot shops and dispensaries to help cops, parents and regulators alike tell the difference between what’s legal and what’s not.
The first-in-the-nation regulators’ catalog won’t exactly compete with Leafly and Weedmaps — so don’t expect genetic information or flavor profiles.
Instead, the idea is to compile basic information and photos in one place so that police, regulators, consumers and parents can get a better sense of the type of products that are part of the still-young legal cannabis world, and can tell the difference between what’s legal and what’s not.