Jul 27, 2021
Governor Newsom Appoints New Department of Cannabis Control Leadership

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the following appointments to lead the newly-established Department of Cannabis Control. Department leadership includes:

  • Nicole Elliott, Director of the California Department of Cannabis Control (upon confirmation by the Senate) – Ms. Elliott most recently served as Gov. Newsom’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis, and was previously the Director of the Office of Cannabis for the City and County of San Francisco from 2017 to 2019.
  • Rasha Salama, Chief Deputy Director – Ms. Salama has a long history of service under the Department of Public Health, most recently as the Assistant Branch Chief of the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB), overseeing the licensure and sales of manufactured cannabis products in California.
  • Matthew Lee, General Counsel – Mr. Lee served as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary for the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom from 2019 to 2021, and was previously the Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.
  • Tamara Colson, Deputy Director of Legal – Ms. Colson most recently served as the Interim Chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, having previously served as Assistant Chief Counsel to the Bureau since 2016.
  • Eugene Hillsman, Deputy Director of Equity and Inclusion – Mr. Hillsman previously served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Cannabis for the City and County of San Francisco.



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