Stebbins, Camargo named to state cannabis commission

Boston Statehouse

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. In what could be a temporary victory for California’s legal cannabis industry, a state judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn a state rule allowing home deliveries statewide, even into communities that banned commercial marijuana sales. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) – The Cannabis Control Commission will gain two new members when the calendar flips to 2021, but it will come at the Mass. Gaming Commission’s expense.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg and Attorney General Maura Healey appointed Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins to a five-year term on the Cannabis Control Commission starting Jan. 1, filling a CCC slot that is required to be held by someone with experience in oversight or management in a regulated industry. That’s the seat Kay Doyle gave up in May.

Stebbins was one of the five original members of the Mass. Gaming Commission and has served in that role since 2012. He had previously worked as business development administrator for Springfield, served two terms on the Springfield City Council, worked in former Gov. William Weld’s administration, and was associate director of political affairs in the White House under President George H.W. Bush.

The constitutional officers also tapped Nurys Camargo, AT&T’s director of external affairs in Massachusetts since 2013, to fill the CCC seat required to be held by someone with a background in legal, policy or social justice issues related to a regulated industry. Commissioner Shaleen Title’s term in that role ended Sept. 1, but she is staying on through Dec. 31. Camargo’s term is also for five years.

Camargo previously worked as senior policy advisor for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and as director of community relations for the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. She is the founder and board chair of Chica Project, which is dedicated to closing the opportunity divide for young Latina women in Boston, Lawrence, Springfield and Holyoke.

“Nurys Camargo and Bruce Stebbins each bring unique experience and knowledge to the Cannabis Control Commission and I am confident they’ll serve the people of our state well in these positions,” Healey said. “Nurys has dedicated her career to social justice reform and will be integral in the Commission’s work to ensure equity and fairness in this industry. Bruce’s understanding of the regulatory process, experience in economic development, and commitment to government transparency will be a critical asset to the Commission’s mission to enable safe, equitable, and effective access to legal cannabis use in the Commonwealth.”

The addition of Stebbins, and Camargo swapping in for Title will bring the CCC up to four members out of five. Commissioner Britte McBride, who was appointed by Healey alone and fills the CCC’s public safety seat, left the commission this month despite having about 10 months remaining on her initial appointment. Healey has not yet named McBride’s replacement. Steven Hoffman’s term as CCC chairman extends until Sept. 1, 2022, and Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan’s initial appointment by Baker is valid until Sept. 1, 2021.

Stebbins’ departure from the Gaming Commission will reduce its number to four. He was jointly appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steven Grossman, and his departure now will give Baker, Healey and Goldberg the opportunity to appoint a new member on a commission that is shifting gears from licensing and overseeing the construction of casinos to regulating an industry that has been legal here for almost a decade.

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