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Another top official overseeing Connecticut’s retail marijuana market will step down

A vendor points to a selection of cannabis strains for sale during a 2018 marijuana festival in California.
Richard Vogel
/
AP
A vendor points to a selection of cannabis strains for sale during a 2018 marijuana festival.

Less than a month before the first sale of retail marijuana in Connecticut, the state’s top officials in charge of the legal cannabis market’s rollout have resigned.

Commissioner Michelle Seagull announced Wednesday that she plans to step down early from her position at the state Department of Consumer Protection during the first quarter of 2023.

Seagull will remain in the position over the coming weeks to oversee the first sales of recreational marijuana, starting at 9 stores statewide on Jan. 10.

“This agency has grown and evolved to meet consumers’ needs, regulate new industries, and protect businesses that play by the rules,” Seagull said in a statement. “I am proud of everything we have accomplished in the past two years alone, launching two newly regulated industries in record time, all while continuing to do the work we’ve always done to protect consumers and promote fair and regulated markets.”

Seagull oversaw the launch of Connecticut's medical marijuana program in 2012 under then-Governor Dannel Malloy as the agency’s deputy commissioner. Lamont re-nominated Seagull for commissioner in 2019.

“The Department of Consumer Protection has an important responsibility to protect residents from unfair business practices and unsafe products, while enforcing federal and state laws that ensure a fair and regulated marketplace for everyone,” Lamont said in a statement. “Connecticut’s consumers are safer and our economy is stronger because of her and the team she built at [the agency].”

Seagull is leaving to “to pursue other professional opportunities.”

Her deputy, Andréa Comer, who heads the Social Equity Council, which makes licensing recommendations for applicants who are from communities with disproportionately higher drug conviction rates, announced she will step aside on Jan. 4.

Comer will become the new Chief of Staff for incoming-State Treasurer Erick Russell.

Lamont has yet to announce their replacements.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.