Heads of Illinois, New Jersey Medical Cannabis Programs Step Down

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Medical marijuana programs in two states are looking for new leaders.

Bob Morgan, the coordinator of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, and John H. O’Brien, the director of the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program, have both resigned in recent weeks, according to news reports.

The moves could bring some changes to how the programs are run, though it’s unclear what – if any – impact a new director would have on the overall climate for medical marijuana businesses in each state.

Morgan, an attorney by trade, is moving to private practice. His resignation is effective May 6, and no one has yet been named to take his place.

He promised to continue “advocating for Illinois patients,” indicating that he may take a continuing professional role in the cannabis industry.

O’Brien has retired, effective April 4. James Baracia has been appointed interim director of the program.

O’Brien, 54, served as head of the New Jersey MMJ program for over three years, and prior to that was with the state police for more than a quarter century. O’Brien said in a statement that he was “grateful for the opportunity to be a part of one of the more significant social changes in recent history.”