Rhode Island’s top medical pot regulator to step down

The Rhode Island State House. Photo by the Rhode Island National Guard

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s top medical marijuana regulator hired in 2016 to help reform a decade-old, but loosely regulated program has announced his resignation to accept a new position in New York.

Norman Birenbaum told The Providence Journal on Friday he’s not ready yet to disclose details of the new job, only that it’s an opportunity to be closer to family and a good personal opportunity.

His departure comes weeks after the Department of Business Regulation drafted proposed regulations for expanding the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state from three to nine.

The 32-year-old Birenbaum’s arrival on the medical marijuana scene three years ago came at a time when no one else in government had much understanding of the program.

Birenbaum’s last day is Dec. 6.

 

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