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Colorado Offers Pot Czar to Help with Legal Weed Transition in Massachusetts

Photo by Mike Gustafson, courtesy Kushman Genetics

A lot has changed since Colorado voted to legalize recreational weed four years ago when Governor John Hickenlooper humorously told anxious pot advocates “don’t break out the Cheetos or goldfish too quickly.”

It was a brave new world, and Colorado faced unheard of challenges. Things were a bit, well, chaotic for a while. Not everyone knew what was legal and what was not or which government agency was meant to solve the many issues that arose.

Thankfully, Hickenlooper had the presence of mind to appoint a brilliant pot czar—Andrew Freedman, who famously said back in 2014, “We’re making the plane as we fly it.”

Jump ahead to the dawn of 2017, and we see that Andrew Freedman has managed to sort out many of the issues that faced Colorado’s pot industry, including the state’s bureaucracy, law enforcement community and the public health sector in one of the first of two legal marijuana states in the country.

Now it turns out that Freedman, a Harvard Law School grad, has been tapped as the leading contender for the same job in Massachusetts, which just became the 8th U.S. state (and the first on the Eastern seaboard) to approve recreational pot.

According to the Boston Globe, Freedman is reportedly under consideration “to be one of the three regulators who will oversee the recreational industry in Massachusetts, or advise that group as a paid consultant.”

Colorado’s Hickenlooper, who called Freedman “probably the most knowledgeable person in the United States in terms of how do you create a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana,” said he has advised his pot czar to help out.

“There are lots of lessons to be learned, and no one can communicate those lessons more successfully than Andrew can,” said Hickenlooper.

Freedman, according to the Boston Globe, keeps a running list of thorny issues on a window in his office, and adds or subtracts problems as they arise or when they get resolved.

“We see problems. We solve problems. We’re fast-acting. We’re responsive to data as it comes in,” said Freedman, who admitted that figuring out which agency would be in charge of solving which problem was an initial quandary.

Freedman told the Globe that finally after nearly three years, the agencies have a good idea of “what their swim lanes are.”

It’s no wonder Massachusetts would like to have this “champion of good government,” as one Colorado pot-focused attorney called Freedman.

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.

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