Olga Fitch, Previously Director of Operations at Vermont Cannabis Control Board, Moves Into Executive Director Role

Olga Fitch has taken over as executive director of the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, the regulatory agency in which her face is a familiar one.

Previously, she served as director of operations at the CCB. She joined the agency in February 2023.

Her official start date as executive director was May 19. While announcing the new hire at the May 29 board meeting, CCB Chairman James Pepper expressed gratitude for Fitch taking on the job at “a critical point” in the industry.

“I think that we all know that when the agency was first started, it extended so quickly,” Fitch said in an interview. “We got people licensed. We had to build IT infrastructure. It happened very, very fast.”

Making sure the approximately 570 licensees follow the rules and stay in compliance is an important part of the agency, Fitch said. She sees public safety, youth prevention and consumer protection as crucial roles of the group in its next phase.

Our compliance and enforcement arm of the agency will definitely be much more utilized I think,” she said.

Fitch said the CCB will need to prepare for potential ways the Legislature could choose to expand the market, such as direct sales and farmers markets, and a new state testing lab being set up to help take the pressure off the private ones. Supporting staff, ensuring processes are up to date and growing without “burning through” staff are other areas of focus.

Pepper called Fitch’s position “one of the most complicated executive level jobs in state government.”

“Being a good manager and all that’s required around interpersonal skills and budgeting and organizational charts, hiring. being accountable to the Legislature, that’s just the table stakes,” Pepper said. “This job requires that you also oversee every aspect of this evolving industry and its 500-plus individual businesses.”

Pepper said the Legislature has added more responsibility to the CCB every year. He cited challenges such as market saturation, building the lab, rolling out the next phase of IT infrastructure and preparing for potential direct consumer sales, special events, consumption lounges and interstate commerce.

“Olga is exceptionally well qualified to meet these challenges, more than anyone I’ve ever met,” Pepper said. “She’s self reflective, fiercely efficient and strives for continuous improvement from herself and everyone she worked with.”

Pepper said Fitch “came to the CCB from the private sector, where she managed major divisions and some very successful organizations.’

“As our director of operations, we’ve benefited tremendously from her leadership and project management and her professionalism,” Pepper said.


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