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New Leadership at Office of Cannabis Management

In an effort to streamline state cannabis operations, Governor Kathy Hochul made three leadership changes.
Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul made three new leadership appointments Monday at the Office of Cannabis Management, part of an operational overhaul of the agency.

These appointments, including Felicia A. B. Reid as executive deputy director and acting executive director, put in place a leadership team that will implement changes to end 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, according to a news release.

“I’m committed to ensuring New York’s nation-leading cannabis market continues to thrive,” Hochul said. “With these new 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.”

The Governor 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 was appointed executive deputy director and acting executive director. In this role, Reid 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. 

Susan Filburn has been appointed as 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. 

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.