Tom Burns, director of the medical marijuana dispensary program for the Oregon Health Authority, will now branch out to overseeing recreational marijuana regulation at OLCC.

Tom Burns, who was director of pharmacy programs for the Oregon Health Authority, will move over to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission where he will oversee the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The OLCC is putting Measure 91, which voters passed in November, into practice. Burns had run the state’s medical marijuana dispensary program while at OHA.

“Tom has navigated these waters before on the medical side,” said OLCC Executive Director Steven Marks. “In line with Chairman Rob Patridge‘s direction, Tom will lead the implementation of Oregon’s recreational marijuana law with a measured approach that protects children, promotes safety and brings the marijuana industry into the regulated market.”

One of Burns’ first tasks will be to organize a listening tour for commissioners to gather input on recreational marijuana regulation.

Burns has forty years of experience in state government and policy roles including serving as CEO of the California State Senate and as VP of State Government Affairs for GlaxoSmithKline.

Elizabeth Hayes covers health care for the Portland Business Journal.

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