Sarah Climaco

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has appointed five members to the state’s Cannabis Advisory Board, including Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael Jr. who in 2012 quipped that it would be “illogical” to believe that medical cannabis dispensaries “will not be fronts for illegal distribution and money-laundering,” the Boston Globe reports. Carmichael also campaigned against the adult-use legalization measure in uniform and said he was “heartbroken” when the initiative passed.

However, in his first interview following the appointment, Carmichael struck a conciliatory tone, saying he would “reserve” his personal opinions and “focus on providing thoughtful, sound recommendations.”

“I’ll try to limit my role to what I know the most about, which is the public safety side of things,” he said in the report. “There’s a lot we can do to make sure we’re preventing youth access and diversion.”

Carmichael has experience providing public safety guidance on cannabis regulations. He previously served as the police community liaison to the medical cannabis program during its implementation.

Baker also chose Kim Napoli, a labor and employment attorney who co-founded the Hempest, to represent minority businesses; Mary Ann Pesce, a former Gillette and Procter & Gamble executive who serves on the boards of directors for several Boston-area companies, to represent employers; Lydia Sisson, co-founder of urban food production and sustainability initiative Mill City Grows, to represent the agricultural community; and Henry M. Thomas III, Urban League of Springfield leader, to represent the interests of low-income communities.

Another 10 members of the 25-member commission were appointed by state Attorney General Maura Healey and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. The remaining 10 members come from various interest groups, such as medical cannabis patients, named in the voter-approved law. Next, the advisory board will appoint a five-member Cannabis Control Commission that will regulate the industry.

Adult-use sales are expected to begin in Massachusetts July 1, 2018.

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