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4 out of 5 on Massachusetts’ New Marijuana Board Were Anti-Legalization

Four of the five members of the board responsible for regulating marijuana in Massachusetts voted in November against allowing recreational use of the drug, leading supporters of legalization to call for assurances the panel would not try to slow implementation of the voter-approved law.

Britte McBride, Kay Doyle and Shaleen Title were named on Friday to the Cannabis Control Commission, joining the two previously named members, Steven Hoffman and Jennifer Flanagan. The new state agency will oversee recreational and medical marijuana, including the licensing of retail pot shops.

Hoffman, a retired business executive, will chair the board. The panel was assembled collectively by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey and Democratic state Treasurer Deb Goldberg.

Of the five commissioners, only Title supported the ballot question. Title, a leading national advocate for the inclusion of minority-owned businesses in the burgeoning cannabis industry, helped draft diversity language in the law.

“We’re looking at a contradictory board,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for Yes on 4, the group that led the successful ballot initiative. He noted that 56 percent of Massachusetts voters backed legalization of recreational marijuana for adults and expressed fear the commissioners would be hostile to the cannabis industry or delay implementation. [Read more at WCVB]

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