Cannabis Control Commissioner Kay Doyle, who has dedicated more than six years of public service to regulating the Massachusetts cannabis industry, will step down from her seat on May 8, 2020, she announced Monday.
Commissioner Doyle was appointed by the Governor, State Treasurer and Receiver General, and Attorney General to serve a three-year term which began September 1, 2017. In accordance with Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, she was selected for her professional experience in oversight or industry management, including commodities, production or distribution in a regulated industry, after serving as primary counsel to the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program, the Food Protection Program, and the Tobacco Control Program under the Department of Public Health (DPH).
“I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve the Commonwealth and proud of the historic work that I have done with my fellow first Commissioners and the amazing team of dedicated staff at the Commission, led by Executive Director Shawn Collins,” said Commissioner Doyle. “I am sad to leave, but very excited about the work I will be doing in the future. I am confident that the Commission will continue to regulate adult use and medical use of cannabis in a manner that focuses on public health, safety, equity, and sustainability.”
Throughout her time as a regulator, Commissioner Doyle has championed the interests of patients, farmers, small businesses, and veterans. In 2017, she led the Commission’s efforts to draft the state’s first adult-use cannabis regulations by creating a transparent and fair process that resulted in what is now 935 CMR 500.000, which emphasizes safety, equity, and sustainability in the Commonwealth’s cannabis industry.
Commissioner Doyle chaired Massachusetts’ Energy and Environment Workgroup, which consisted of participants from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Department of Energy Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Agricultural Resources. Together the members set groundbreaking and nationally recognized energy and environmental standards for cannabis cultivation.
She also authored a comprehensive Host Community Agreement report that identified issues applicants and municipalities were experiencing with the statutorily mandated contracts and suggested areas where the Legislature could take action to address them. And, she created the Commission’s expedition policy, which accelerates the review of licensing applications for independent testing laboratories, disadvantaged business enterprises including women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses, as well as outdoor cultivators.
“It has been an incredible privilege to work with Commissioner Kay Doyle since 2017,” said Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman. “Kay was instrumental in the development of our regulatory framework, ensuring that provisions were thoughtful and intentional in reducing the industry’s environmental impact and developing pathways for small businesses, farmers, veterans, and equity applicants. She has left an indelible mark on our legal cannabis market, and I look forward to seeing her continued success in the private sector.”
“It has been an honor to work with Commissioner Kay Doyle over the last two and a half years,” said Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan. “Her regulatory expertise has been invaluable to the Cannabis Control Commission and the citizens of Massachusetts and her insight has been immeasurable in implementing the legalization of cannabis. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Kay and I wish her luck in her next endeavor.”
“Commissioner Doyle’s intelligence, work ethic and foresight have made her an asset to the Commission, while her sense of humor, dedication and humanity have made her a pleasure to work with,” said Commissioner Britte McBride. “Her legacy will be the high standards expected of those who work at and with the CCC. The Commonwealth and all who have worked with Kay during her tenure in public service are better for her having served, and she will be sorely missed.”
“Commissioner Doyle has been an extraordinary asset to the Commission and a good friend,” said Commissioner Shaleen Title. “I will miss her open-mindedness and her unique ability to navigate complex problems and find solutions that not one else would have thought of. The landscape of Massachusetts cannabis would look very different if it wasn’t for her unwavering dedication to patients and her strong support for small businesses, outdoor farmers, and environmental progress.”
“Working alongside Commissioner Kay Doyle has been a personal and professional highlight of my time at the Commission,” said Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins. “Every single day she brought to our agency a legal and policy acumen that was only matched by her care for patients, caregivers, small businesses and entrepreneurs, farmers, the environment, and those among us who needed a voice. I am grateful for her many contributions to the Commission, and for her continued friendship, and look forward to seeing what she succeeds in next.”
Prior to her service to the Commission and DPH, Commissioner Doyle worked as an attorney for Kopelman and Paige, P.C. representing private and municipal clients with a focus on issues relating to the medical use of marijuana law, administrative law, land use law and civil rights law and environmental law. She also has experience practicing before all levels of federal and state court, including the United States Supreme Court.
Commissioner Doyle is a graduate of Bucknell University and Boston University School of Law and admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and New York.
Upon her departure from the agency, Commissioner Doyle will be returning to the private sector to work with an organization to be announced later.