In the weeks adhering to her appointment as chair of the Massachusetts Hashish Manage Fee (CCC), Shannon O’Brien’s particular and fiscal stake in a point out-accredited cannabis small business has arrive to light-weight.
As the Boston Herald noted Sept. 28, O’Brien is listed as “owner/partner” of Greenfield Greenery in that company’s 2020 application for a cultivation license. Greenfield, a town in western Massachusetts, held a zoning board conference in June 2021, at which O’Brien represented herself as CEO of the business enterprise.
Greenfield Greenery retains a provisional license from the point out. But the final decision to award Greenfield Greenery with a remaining license rests on an future inspection of the functions, and a vote by the CCC, the quite regulatory system now helmed by O’Brien.
Furthermore, O’Brien is listed as an “adviser” on Charlemont FarmWorks’ cultivation business license application. That enterprise, way too, retains a provisional license as of September 2022.
O’Brien arrives as the chair of the CCC next her tenure as former point out treasurer (1999-2003), previous state senator (1993-1995) and previous condition agent (1987-1993). She lost the 2002 gubernatorial election to Mitt Romney.
As chair of the CCC, O’Brien’s income is mentioned at $181,722.
A Boston Herald columnist jumped on the headline and called for O’Brien’s ouster Sept. 29.
The CCC has not publicly commented on this news, and the fee has no shortage of essential organization to attend to. Before this summer time, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a regulation that billed the CCC with elevating the state hashish industry’s variety and tightening the oversight of host neighborhood agreements. People host local community agreements sort the backbone of Massachusetts’ variation of the area approval approach for license applicants. Greenfield Greenery submitted its very own host community settlement in October 2020.
“You’re in all probability informed of this, that you might be joining the fee at a pivotal time,” Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion explained to O’Brien before this thirty day period, with out recognizing most likely the entire ramifications of the CCC’s impending workload.
UPDATE: Following the initial publication of this story, O’Brien presented the subsequent statement:
I am not at the moment the operator of any marijuana licensee and have not been an owner due to the fact December 2021. I aided Charlemont Farmworks get an HCA and a provisional license, but served only as a expert. I was the CEO and portion owner of Greenfield Greenery, also helping obtain a HCA, exclusive permit and provisional license.
In December 2021, I signed an attestation supplying up all equity, possession and management of Greenfield Greenery LLC. The firm indicated they would submit my attestation with its ask for for modify of handle. It is my being familiar with that this ask for is becoming reviewed by the Commission workers.
When I applied to be the Chair of the Cannabis Control Commission, I disclosed these interactions.
I have spoken with the Condition Ethics Fee who recommended I have no real conflict of fascination.
Out of an abundance of warning, to steer clear of even the appearance of conflict of fascination, I will recuse myself from any deliberations or votes concerning Charlemont or Greenfield Greenery corporations.
I think my involvement with Charlemont and Greenfield have provided me with insights into the hashish market and the regulatory process that will be a must have to my role as Chair of the Hashish Fee.