Treasurer Goldberg Names 5 to Cannabis Advisory Board

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Treasurer Deborah Goldberg announced five appointments to the Cannabis Advisory Board.

“I am pleased to announce my five candidates to the Cannabis Advisory Board. I am confident that they will make a meaningful impact on the formation of this new industry in Massachusetts,” said Goldberg.

The Board, which will consist of 25 members, is tasked with studying and making recommendations on regulating marijuana within Massachusetts.

The new marijuana law, signed by the Governor on Friday, requires the Governor, Treasurer and Attorney General to appoint 5 members to a new Cannabis Advisory Board.

Those members appointed by the Treasurer are required to have expertise in marijuana cultivation, marijuana retailing, marijuana product manufacturing, laboratory sciences and toxicology, and providing legal services to marijuana businesses. 

Treasurer Goldberg’s Appointees to the Cannabis Advisory Board are as follows:

Norton Arbeláez

Norton Arbeláez is a first-generation American whose family instilled early on the value of education and the importance of community involvement. In 2009, Arbeláez founded RiverRock Medical Marijuana Center in Denver after a family member’s palliative use of cannabis convinced him of its enormous medical potential. He currently serves as that company’s Chief Legal Officer.

He served on the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, the City of Denver’s Medical Marijuana Workgroup, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s Amendment 64 regulatory task force. In 2010, he founded Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Industry Group. This non-profit lobbying and policy group promotes responsible cannabis regulatory frameworks, serves as a resource and partner for policymakers and protects the rights of medical marijuana patients. He currently serves on the group’s board of directors.

At the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Arbeláez received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in International Studies summa cum laude and, in 2006, Mr. Arbeláez graduated from Tulane University Law School.

Dr. Alan Balsam

Dr. Alan Balsam currently serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Tufts Medical School and Boston University (BU) School of Public Health.  He was Director of Public Health and Human Services in Brookline for 21 years, where he led their innovative and nationally recognized Department of Public Health.  Balsam was instrumental in overseeing the creation of a medical cannabis dispensary in Brookline, including regulatory oversight. 

Prior to that, he created and led the Division of Elder Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for seven years.  Dr. Balsam earned a PhD in Nutrition from Tufts University, an MPH from BU, an MS in Foods and Nutrition from Framingham State University, and a BS in Sociology from Brandeis University.  Over the past 25 years, Dr. Balsam has taught graduate level courses in Food Safety, Food and Nutrition, and Local/ Municipal Public Health at BU.

Michael Dundas

Michael Dundas is President and CEO of Sage Naturals, Inc., a Massachusetts Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) with licenses to operate in Cambridge, Somerville and Needham. He has advised numerous cannabis industry participants and is an expert in cannabis cultivation, products manufacturing, retailing, and regulatory compliance.

Before being named CEO in November 2014, Dundas served as Sage’s Chief Compliance Officer. He was responsible for drafting the organization’s successful application for state licensure and for shepherding the company through the regulatory process. Dundas played an instrumental role in founding the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, a trade organization that represents Massachusetts RMDs.

He currently serves in his second term as the Association’s Board Secretary. Dundas holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, a Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in California, Massachusetts, and New York.

Jaime Lewis

Jaime Lewis has over a decade of experience leading medical marijuana dispensary operations and managing the production of medical marijuana-infused products.

Before joining Mayflower Medicinals, Lewis was the Chief Operating Officer of a large Colorado medical dispensary operation, where she was responsible for operations, strategic planning, business development, governmental affairs and community relations. She is the founder of Mountain Medicine, an infused cannabis product manufacturer and distributor to Colorado dispensaries.

Lewis is a founding member and former chair of the Cannabis Business Alliance, an influential trade organization that functions as the Colorado industry’s chamber of commerce, and a current board member and chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), where she serves as a national spokesperson for the regulated cannabis industry. As an NCIA board member and a founder of the Cannabis Business Alliance,  Lewis has effectively supported business involvement and trade group engagement.

Lewis recently launched NCIA’s infused Products Council, and was instrumental in facilitating a collaboration with the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation on a new Packaging and Labeling Standards Committee. She has provided testimony and guidance to legislators and regulators across the United States, supporting the creation of responsible regulations.

Shanel Lindsay

Shanel Lindsay is an attorney, inventor, and cannabis advocate. Lindsay graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern University School of Law and began her career as a judicial law clerk for the Massachusetts Superior Court. She then joined the Boston law firm of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak and Cohen, serving as a civil litigator for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of business, insurance, and employment law before becoming Employment Counsel and Director of Human Resources for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission.

With over a decade of experience processing cannabis for medicinal use, Lindsay leveraged her knowledge and skill set to develop the Nova and Ardent's suite of products that allow patients to expertly make accurate therapeutics using any strain or form of the plant. A founding member and co-chair of the Northeast Cannabis Coalition, board member of the Massachusetts Patients Advocacy Alliance, and ardent advocate for cannabis legalization on the east coast,  Lindsay is dedicated to improving public understanding of cannabis’ medicinal benefits. 

Rebecca Rutenberg