Here’s their release on the subject
She hopes her legacy will be in creating regulatory framework that prioritizes public safety
As published by Mass Live…
Britte McBride is stepping down from her seat on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, saying that she feels it is the right time to assess her next steps.
“I took this appointment to contribute to the establishment of a sound regulatory structure for the state and I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done, but after a lot of thought it just feels like it’s the right time for me to step back and to assess what my next step is going to be,” McBride told MassLive in an interview Thursday. “You kind of step back occasionally and assess where you are and for me, it’s that moment in time.”
McBride, who holds the public safety seat on the commission, which regulates Massachusetts’ marijuana industry, said she’ll now explore her options and does not have a specific opportunity lined up.
“I’m really passionate about public policy, I love being a problem solver and I get a lot of joy out of the challenge of building things, which is why this job really spoke to me and why this appointment, I think, really fit with who I am professionally,” McBride said. “It was something novel and challenging and there were certainly a lot of problems that needed to be solved and a lot of issues that needed to be addressed, so I don’t know what the next thing is going to be but I’m hoping I’ll land on something that combines those elements.”
An exact date for McBride’s departure is not yet clear, but it could be in October. The commissioner said she is committed to staying on until the current regulatory process is complete and until the seat former commissioner Kay Doyle left earlier this year is filled.
McBride said she feels her biggest contribution to the commission has been in the creation of a regulatory framework.
“At the earliest stages of drafting those regulations alongside Commissioner Doyle, that provided the foundation that we have only built upon,” she said. “That framework does things like prioritizing public safety, it does things like mitigating perceived risks, which I think lends credibility and trust in our legalized market.”
The commissioner said she hopes her legacy in the role will be in taking a balanced approach to creating public policy.
“I’m hoping that I helped to ensure the safety of patients, consumers and employees,” McBride said.
“But, I also hope that moving forward, as people look at what we’re doing from a regulatory perspective,” McBride continued, “I just I really truly believe that by implementing a comprehensive regulatory structure, as we’ve done, that we’re promoting an industry that’s responsible, it’s sustainable and durable, and that’s really important because that industry in Massachusetts will be able to pivot with minimum pain when the day comes that federal legalization happens and I think that the day probably is coming when federal legalization will happen.”
Before being appointed to the commission, McBride previously served as legal counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, deputy counsel to the Massachusetts Senate, and spent seven years as an assistant attorney general in the Attorney General’s office, where she also served as chief of the Policy and Government Division. She’s a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Suffolk University Law School.
The office of Attorney General Maura Healey appointed McBride to the commission in 2017. Her term on the commission was slated to end next year.
Doyle, who left the commission in May, had a term slated to end days from now on Aug. 31. That is also the day Commissioner Shaleen Title’s term ends.
Title’s role on the commission is appointed by a majority vote of the governor, attorney general and treasurer and receiver. The appointing authorities recently had applications open for the governance and social justice seats on the commission, with a due date of Aug. 25. The Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday did not have further information about Title’s seat.
Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan’s term expires Aug. 31, 2021, and Chairman Steven Hoffman’s term runs through Aug. 31, 2022.
McBride said she hopes the public safety seat will be filled by someone with high ethical standards, who brings perspective to the role and is able to work collaboratively.
“I hope that it’s somebody that picks up the mantle of making sure that public safety and public health is a priority and is reflected throughout our regulations and I clearly believe that the attorney general is going to put somebody into this seat who will carry forth that methodology and that philosophy,” she said.
Looking ahead, there is more work to be done in terms of public safety and the marijuana industry broadly. McBride said she would like to see the creation of a state standards laboratory for testing, the development of specialized coursework at higher education institutions with scholarships and more incubator spaces.
McBride had been looking at the creation of a task force to address sales of marijuana in the traditional market and hopes it will remain a priority with creative thinking on how to address the issue.
When the commissioners were first appointed in 2017, they shared a borrowed office space and started to build the regulatory agency from the ground up. Today, the commission has a headquarters in Worcester’s historic Union Station and is an agency of around 65 employees. The state’s legal marijuana industry has generated more than $122 million in tax revenue in its first two years.
McBride said she feels the commission has put into place one of the most comprehensive regulatory structures of any state with legal marijuana, working to address the illicit market by adopting policies like a marijuana delivery license. Applications for that license became available earlier this year and are currently limited to applicants who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
While the contributions so far have been significant, McBride said she feels its time for new voices to be added to the conversations.
McBride said she’s enjoyed meeting and talking with people through her role on the commission, as well as working closely with colleagues.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t call out the hard work and the fair-mindedness of the people that make up this commission and just the joy of working with them,” she said. “It’s been a learning experience and I will always treasure it.”