Cannabis Control Commission grapples with upcoming exit of Executive Director Collins

CCC ‘in crisis’ as Executive Director Collins plans to exit the agency

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) now faces a daunting leadership challenge at a pivotal moment in its operations. Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien recently announced that Executive Director Shawn Collins told her that he intends to leave the agency by the end of 2023. The news was announced during a public meeting by Chair O’Brien in a manner that took fellow commissioners by surprise. Additionally, the Chair raised Collins’ decision to take a 10-week family leave starting July 31st, right in the middle of a significant regulatory adjustment period for the Massachusetts cannabis industry.

Chair O’Brien described the situation facing the Commission as a ‘crisis’ and informed her fellow Commissioners that she intends to convene a meeting to facilitate further discussion on the topic within the next week or two. These developments leave the Commission grappling with a complex challenge. With the implementation of the new cannabis equity law underway the timing of Collins’s departure raises concerns about the Commission’s ability to meet statutory deadlines, update their regulations, and uphold operational integrity. As the Commission works to fill gaps in top management, questions regarding the continuity of its regulatory work in the wake of Collins’s leave remain unanswered. The Commission’s future course of action remains uncertain and this uncertainty casts a shadow over the Massachusetts cannabis landscape.

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