US (MA): Shannon O’Brien to chair Cannabis Control Commission

When the Cannabis Control Commission marked its fifth anniversary on Thursday, the 1st of September, it also got a new chairperson, former state treasurer, and Easthampton native Shannon O’Brien.

Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who is responsible for appointing someone with a financial background to chair the cannabis industry regulatory body, announced this week that she would be swearing in O’Brien, who served as state treasurer from 1999 until 2003.

“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 said of O’Brien, who follows interim Chair Sarah Kim and inaugural CCC Chair Steven Hoffman.

O’Brien is a familiar face across the state, but especially in western Massachusetts. O’Brien was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1986 in the 2nd Hampshire district, serving three terms before she was elected to the Hampshire-Hampden seat as a state senator. She served in the Senate for two years before running unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 1994, when she lost to Joseph Malone. In 1998 she ran for treasurer again and was elected, serving in that position until 2003. She was the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor in 2002, but she lost the general election to Mitt Romney. 

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