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New York Names New Cannabis Leadership After Executive Director's Departure

The state has opened a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced three new leadership appointments at the Office of Cannabis Management, part of an operational overhaul of the agency launched last month. These appointments, including Felicia A. B. Reid as Executive Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director, put in place a leadership team that will address the bottleneck of license applicants, improve communication with applicants and licensees, and reaffirm the agency’s commitment to the social equity goals codified in the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

Hochul also announced a nationwide search for a permanent Executive Director of OCM to lead the agency as it works to grow and support the nation’s most diverse and equitable legal cannabis marketplace. The Governor’s Appointments Office will work with an experienced recruitment firm to identify qualified candidates from across the state and the country.

Felicia A. B. Reid has been appointed Executive Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director. In this role, Felicia will oversee major operational and regulatory functions of the office including licensing, compliance and enforcement. She will manage the implementation of the OCM Assessment Team's recommendations in partnership with OCM leadership and staff.

Reid has over a decade of experience in State government and spent the last six years at the Office of Children and Family Services, including overseeing statewide juvenile justice operations as Deputy Commissioner. She is admitted to the New York State Bar Association and earned her law degree from New York Law School. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University.

Susan Filburn has been appointed Chief Administrative Officer. This new position will focus on stabilizing and formalizing administrative functions of the agency to support licensing, compliance and enforcement operations. She will also work closely with the licensing and technology teams to implement process improvements to streamline the license review process and improve responsiveness.

Filburn has more than 20 years of experience in State government, including the last four years as Deputy Commissioner of Employment Security at the Department of Labor. Susan is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in numerous locations as an Aviation Officer. Susan holds a Masters of Public Administration from the Syracuse University Maxwell School, as well as a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Jessica Woolford has been promoted to the position of Director of External Affairs. In this role, she will ensure that communication and community engagement are prioritized as the agency implements transformational change. She will also build out the agency’s first customer service team to provide transparency to applicants, licensees and consumers about the agency’s processes and the marketplace.Jessica previously served as Director of Communications at OCM and has adeptly led the agency’s external communications through challenging transitions over the last nine months. She has more than a decade of experience working in government and for social justice organizations, and she holds a bachelor's degree from Williams College in History with a concentration in Africana Studies.

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