Governor Hochul Appoints New Leadership at the Office of Cannabis Management

On Monday, Governor Hochul announced three new leadership appointments at the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). The appointments follow the Governor’s announcement of an operational overhaul at OCM after an assessment found “significant structural limitations” within the agency that “have affected the agency’s ability to fulfill its mandate efficiently.” There were also several reports of retaliation from OCM’s former Chief Equity Officers Damian Fagon. The overhaul included various recommendations to end the licensing backlog, improve communications and transform agency operations. The overhaul also includes OCM Executive
Director Chris Alexander leaving his post in September.

The appointments include for Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services Felicia A.B. Reid as Executive Director and Acting Executive Director, Susan Filburn as Chief Administrative Officer, and Jessica Woolford as Director of External Affairs. “I’m committed to ensuring New York’s nation-leading cannabis market continues to thrive,” the Governor said. “With these appointees, the Office of Cannabis Management will continue to focus on expanding the most equitable adult-use market in the nation while cracking down on illicit storefronts.”

On her appointment as Executive Director and Acting Executive Director, Felicia A.B. Reid said “I am excited to work with everyone at OCM and our partners statewide to expand upon the agency’s work, build best internal and external practices, and focus on making New York’s cannabis industry one that meets the needs of small businesses and consumers. Cannabis is an enormous opportunity for our state, and OCM is obligated to ensure that its work makes these opportunities accessible, transparent, and responsive to the industry’s movement and trends. I
want to thank Governor Hochul for this opportunity and look forward to doing the work with equity as the central-most focus of OCM’s way forward.”