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RICHMOND— Governor Ralph Northam today announced appointments to the three newly-created boards responsible for overseeing the legalization of recreational marijuana in the Commonwealth. This spring, Virginia became the first Southern state to pass adult-use cannabis legislation, with changes going into effect on July 1, 2021. The new law legalizes simple possession and home cultivation for adults 21 and over, seals some marijuana-related records, and creates a new independent state entity, the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA), to regulate the cannabis market. In coming years, the General Assembly must reenact sections of the bill and the CCA must implement regulations before legal sales of cannabis can begin.

(Local board member appointees listed below only)

CANNABIS CONTROL AUTHORITY

The Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) is the regulatory agency for the legal cannabis market in Virginia. The CCA is led by a five-member Board of Directors responsible for the creation of the adult-use marketplace for cannabis and is statutorily vested with control of the regulated sale, transportation, and distribution of marijuana and marijuana products in the Commonwealth.

Bette Brand of Roanoke, Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Consulting LLC Bette Brand has been appointed to the Cannabis Control Authority Board of Directors. Bette has served in several roles at the United States Department of Agriculture including Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, Administrator of Rural Business Cooperative Service, and Acting Administrator of Rural Utility Service. Prior to her federal service, Bette held senior leadership positions at Farm Credit of the Virginias for more than 35 years. She is currently Founder and CEO of Strategic Consulting LLC. Bette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Virginia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Tech.

CANNABIS EQUITY REINVESTMENT BOARD

Virginia’s adult-use cannabis law dedicates 30 percent of tax revenue from cannabis sales—a predicted $7.8 to 12.9 million in 2024 and $38.4 to 63.9 million in 2028—to a Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund. The Fund will be managed by the 20-person Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board and used to provide resources to communities that have experienced disproportionate enforcement of drug laws and economic disinvestment. Specifically, it will support locally designed and community-based responses to such impacts, including grants for workforce development, apprenticeship, and reentry programs, and scholarships for historically marginalized individuals.

W. Anthony West of Roanoke, Chief Operations Officer, Virginia CARES (Community Action Re-Entry System)
Sheba Williams of Richmond, Executive Director, Nolef Turns, Inc.
Vickie R. Williams-Cullins of Hampton, Executive Director, OPN-Door Communications LLC

CANNABIS PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD

The 21-person Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council is an expert advisory council to the CCA Board of Directors. It will assess and monitor public health issues, trends, and impacts related to marijuana and marijuana legalization and make recommendations regarding health warnings, retail marijuana and product safety and composition, and public health awareness, programming, and related resources. Additionally, the Council must approve any health-related regulations before the CCA can finalize them.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow, of Roanoke, Health Director, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts