MA governor signs recreational marijuana program into law

Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker on Friday signed into law a recreational marijuana bill that will allow the state to launch an adult-use program approved by voters, and an hour later, the first members of the Cannabis Advisory Board were appointed.

The state legislature passed a bill last week that modifies the voter-backed law passed in November.

Baker opposed legalization but has vowed to carry out the will of the voters to legalize adult-use marijuana. Massachusetts is targeting a July 2018 launch date for the program.

After the governor signed the bill, state Treasurer Deb Goldberg announced five appointees to the Cannabis Advisory Board, according to the Boston Business Journal:

  • Norton Arbelaez: He founded a medical marijuana center in Denver and advised Colorado state regulators.
  • Alan Balsam: He’s a former director of public health in Brookline, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Dundas: He’s president and CEO of Sage Naturals, a Massachusetts MMJ dispensary.
  • Jaime Lewis: She’s COO and board member of Boston-based Mayflower Medicinals. She’s also a founding member of the Cannabis Business Alliance, chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association and founder of Colorado infused product manufacturer Mountain Medicine.
  • Shanel Lindsay. She’s founder and president of Ardent, a Boston-based MMJ company.

The advisory board eventually will have 23 members, and they must be appointed by Aug. 1. A five-member Cannabis Control Commission must be in place by Sept. 1.