22 December 2016
Andrew Freedman the Director of Marijuana Coordination at State of Colorado has been suggested as one of three people who would be in charge of creating the regulatory framework for Massachusetts’ legal cannabis industry
Here’s his Linked In Bio
A Colorado native, Andrew Freedman holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Tufts University and, in 2010, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Upon law school graduation, Andrew joined John Hickenlooper’s campaign for governor – and was tapped to serve as Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia’s Chief of Staff. During his time with Garcia, the lieutenant governor’s office won a $45 million Race to the Top Grant for early childhood education, created the Office of Early Childhood, helped pass the READ act, and collaborated with Mile High United Way to create the Colorado Reading Corps. In 2013, Andrew left the lieutenant governor’s office to become the Director of Colorado Commits to Kids, the Yes on 66 campaign – the largest effort to date to overhaul Colorado’s education funding system. In 2014, Andrew was appointed the state’s first Director of Marijuana Coordination. As Director, Andrew’s mission is to ensure the efficient and effective regulation of Colorado’s retail and medical marijuana while promoting public health, maintaining public safety, and keeping marijuana out of the hands of children.
Marijuana Times reports…
Andrew Freedman is now being considered as one of three people who would be in charge of creating the regulatory framework for Massachusetts’ legal cannabis industry. If he does not end up as one of those three then he there is a possibility that he would still be a paid consultant for the group – helping them to establish a good set of regulations, without having to deal with some of the bigger issues that Colorado has had the chance to learn from already.
“I was really shocked because I was like, ‘I didn’t weigh in on legalization at all,’ ” Freedman said. “And she was like, ‘Exactly. We need an agnostic in this post.’ ”
Freedman was chosen specifically because he hadn’t spoken out for or against legalization – making him the perfect, unbiased individual to head the creation of the new industry. Since the beginning Freedman has had several things that needed addressed after the initial creation of the regulations surrounding the industry – for example, the use of pesticides on commercially grown cannabis and the appearance and packaging requirements that have recently been imposed on cannabis infused edibles.
“We see problems. We solve problems. We’re fast-acting. We’re responsive to data as it comes in,” he said.
After all that Freedman has accomplished and learned about getting the cannabis industry up and running, as well as maintaining it (what works and what doesn’t – what departments should be handling which issues, etc.), Hickenlooper says that Freedman is “probably the most knowledgeable person in the United States in terms of how do you create a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana,” and that “There are lots of lessons to be learned, and no one can communicate those lessons more successfully than Andrew can.”
With the help of such an experienced member of the country’s most experienced cannabis industry, the 2018 deadline for having the retail cannabis market up and running shouldn’t be much of an issue at all – at least you wouldn’t think. After all, the states who have only just passed laws to legalize adult use of cannabis have an advantage that the earliest states did not – they get to learn from experience without having to make the mistakes for themselves.