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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee nominated Michelle Reddish to be Rhode Island’s first Cannabis Office administrator on Thursday.

“Michelle’s significant expertise in regulatory compliance, development, and technological advancement position her to hit the ground running on day one,” McKee said in a press release. “I’m confident Michelle will effectively continue Rhode Island’s commitment to promoting the safe usage and responsible regulation of cannabis in our state.”

In 2022, Rhode Island joined a list of now 23 other states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

According to state law, the person in this position is tasked with “coordinating the oversight and administration of cannabis use” in Rhode Island. The law also called on McKee to pick the members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission following its passage.

At the moment, Reddish is the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s chief operating officer, and she was chief regulatory officer before that.

She holds two master’s degrees from Tulane University: one in occupational health and safety and the other in cell and molecular biology. In addition, Reddish has a third master’s degree from the University of New Orleans in health care management.

“I’m thrilled to move to beautiful Rhode Island with my children and step into the role of inaugural administrator,” Reddish said. “I am eager to build strong partnerships across the state in support of safe and equitable access to cannabis.”

“I sincerely thank Governor McKee and the Cannabis Control Commission for their trust and recommendation,” she continued.

This nomination now heads to the state Senate for confirmation.

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