Colorado’s pot czar may become Massachusetts regulator

Colorado’s pot czar may become Mass. regulator

Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s bespectacled pot czar who is bringing together the state’s bureaucracy, law enforcement, marijuana industry and public health advocates to address the challenges created by marijuana’s legalization, is being seen as possible Massachusetts’ regulator.

According to emerging media reports, Freedman is among the contenders to be one of the three regulators who will be responsible for overseeing Massachusetts’ new recreational industry. However, there is also speculation that he might be appointed as an adviser to the regulators as a paid consultant.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper once called 33-year-old Freedman the most knowledgeable person in the nation in terms of how to create a regulatory framework for a new recreational marijuana industry to operate.

In Colorado, one of Freedman’s early challenges was to help transform the way the drug was seen in departments of the state government, assisting in a cultural shift.

Speaking about hose challenges, he said, “There were a lot of people in several departments who disagreed with the voters, so at the beginning there was a hesitancy to even come to the table … We see problems. We solve problems. We’re fast-acting. We’re responsive to data as it comes in.”

Freedman, a Tufts University and Harvard Law School graduate, became Colorado’s chief marijuana coordinator in Jan. 2014, when the state permitted retail stores to legally sell marijuana.

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