Massachusetts marijuana regulator appoints acting executive director

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The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) appointed an acting executive director to take over for Shawn Collins, who is on parental leave until December.

The head of the CCC’s human resources department, Chief People Officer Debra Hilton-Creek, will steer the commission through the end of the year, according to State House News Service.

The Massachusetts agency has been in a state of upheaval in recent months.

The chair of the CCC, Shannon O’Brien, was suspended indefinitely in September, and a hearing is scheduled for early November.

The reasons for her suspension are unknown.

O’Brien made headlines in July when she said the CCC would be “in crisis” because of the departure of Collins, who later clarified that he wasn’t leaving his role permanently, only temporarily for parental leave.

Hilton-Creek, a military veteran and HR professional, told State House News Service she sees taking over for Collins as an incredible opportunity.

“Am I a little bit scared? Of course,” Hilton-Creek said.

“Am I worried? No, because I do have an incredible team. We have an incredible team and every day I interact with them, it reminds me of the work that we’re doing here and how important we are as an agency.

“So I am not worried. I’m a little bit scared. But again, with the people that are here, there’s no doubt in my mind that a collaborative effort will get us through this next few months.”