Massachusetts Marijuana Regulatory Board – Massachusetts is gearing up for legalization of recreational marijuana after a fraught and drawn-out legislative process, one of the latest developments has been the creation of the 5-member regulatory board that will be responsible for the regulation of marijuana in the state. There’s just one issue: most of the members of that board voted against legalization.
Assembled by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey and Democratic state Treasurer Deb Goldberg, the board includes Britte McBride, Kay Doyle, Stephen Hoffman, and Jennifer Flannigan, all of whom voted against legalization, and Shaleen Title, the only member who was in support of the measure. While it could be argued that having an array of opinions present in a regulatory board of this kind, it does seem imbalanced that most members had been opposed to the very thing they’re going to be controlling.
Shaleen Title not only supported legalization, but is a legal national advocate for the inclusion of minority-owned businesses in the marijuana industry–Title helped draft diversity language into the law. She’s one of the founding members of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, a national organization that pushes for states and communities to adopt diversity policies in the industry. While alone in voting for legalization in the state, Title wasn’t merely a passive supporter.
“We’re looking at a contradictory board,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for Yes on 4, the group that led the charge for legalization. “We hope that each of the opponents makes it clear that their personal position will in no way impact their professional responsibilities.”
Not everyone seems so concerned: the board members have tried to assure critics that they’ll follow the will of the voters. “Executing the duties of the commission responsibly is vital to safely laying the groundwork for this new industry in (Massachusetts),” said Governor Baker in a statement on the matter.