By: Alysa Rubin, Writer / Follow South Jersey Public Health Intern
TRENTON, N.J. — Following the vote to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced on November 6 three high-ranking government officials will serve on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
Dianna Houenou will serve as the commission’s chair, Jeff Brown will serve as Executive Director, and Krista Nash will serve as a member of the commission.
As the senior policy advisor to Governor Murphy, Houenou has been heavily involved in the establishment of New Jersey’s Office of New Americans and advancing the Administration’s criminal justice priorities, including expungement reform and working to advance meaningful civilian oversight of law enforcement.
“Her commitment to doing what is right and to leaving no one behind has powered our criminal justice reform agenda, and I am immensely proud that she will be continuing that commitment as Chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” Murphy said in a press release.
Brown, the Assistant Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Health, oversees the Division of Medicinal Marijuana and has helped to exponentially increase its capabilities through expanding access to patients and doubling the number of participating physicians and dispensaries.
“Jeff’s leadership overseeing the state’s Medicinal Marijuana program has contributed greatly to our efforts to expand access to those who need it,” Murphy said in a release. “He will bring the same integrity, care, and expertise that have led to the success of our Medicinal Marijuana program to his new role as Executive Director of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.”
Nash, a. long-time social justice advocate, was recommended to the commission by Senate President Steve Sweeney. She currently serves as Program Director of the PROMISE program at Volunteers of America Delaware Valley.
“I am humbled and excited to serve on this very important commission,” Nash said in a release. ”I thank Senate President Sweeney for this opportunity. I look forward to bringing my education and experience as a social worker to the table in order to provide thoughtful input during this process to benefit the residents of New Jersey.”
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission, once fully formed, will regulate and provide oversight to New Jersey’s medical marijuana marketplace.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.