Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has suspended the state’s top cannabis boss, an office spokesperson has confirmed to the Herald.
Shannon O’Brien, the $181,722 chairwoman of the Cannabis Control Commission, was suspended on Thursday, according to Andrew Napolitano, director of communication for the Office of the Massachusetts State Treasurer.
Napolitano did not provide any other information aside from confirmation that O’Brien has been suspended.
“We cannot comment on a personnel matter,” Napolitano said.
The suspension comes just over a month after O’Brien apologized for an outburst, saying she was too blunt in saying the state’s legal weed rollout was in a “crisis.”
The Bay State hit a new one-month high in legal weed sales — $136 million in July.
O’Brien, the former state treasurer, oversees a commission which regulates the $3 billion cannabis industry.
She surprised the commission during the middle of a regulator discussion in July when she announced Executive Director Shawn Collins was planning to leave the agency he has run since its inception. Collins has been on family leave, according to the Boston Business Journal.
Goldberg tapped O’Brien to chair the commission last September, and she shortly came under scrutiny for being involved in a pair of applications for cannabis cultivation, according to documents the Herald had previously reviewed.
O’Brien was listed on an application filed in 2020 by Greenfield Greenery LLC, as an “Owner/Partner” in a proposal to open an outdoor growing operation occupying upwards of 100,000 square feet.
A second application, by Charlemont FarmWorks LLC, listed O’Brien under a section titled “Our Team” as an adviser, noting her role as the former state treasurer and as a former state senator. She also ran for governor in 2002, losing to Mitt Romney.