HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced that he is selecting Paul O. Robertson, deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), to serve as chair of the state’s Social Equity Council when the leadership position becomes vacant at the beginning of next year.
Deputy Commissioner Robertson will succeed Andréa Comer, deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), as council chair. Deputy Commissioner Comer plans to depart her job at DCP and her membership on the council to become chief of staff for Treasurer-elect Erick Russell when he takes the oath of office on January 4, 2023. State statutes require the governor to select one of the council’s members to serve as its chair.
Since joining DECD, Deputy Commissioner Robertson has worked closely with Deputy Commissioner Comer and the members of the council to lay the groundwork for an equitable cannabis entrepreneurship ecosystem. Deputy Commissioner Robertson will serve on the council as the designee of the DECD commissioner.
“Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis program is at a pivotal time right now, and I appreciate the steps the Social Equity Council has taken to date to ensure that it is rolled out in an equitable manner as we envisioned when we enacted this law,” Governor Lamont said. “Paul will bring relevant experience and strong existing relationships with council members to his role as chair, and I thank him for agreeing to take on this leadership position.”
“I am grateful to Governor Lamont for entrusting me with this important role and I look forward to serving the state in this new capacity,” Deputy Commissioner Robertson said. “Deputy Commissioner Comer has done a tremendous job leading the Social Equity Council to this point, and I plan to continue to work alongside its members and our partner agencies to ensure the adult-use cannabis market grows equitably.”
The Social Equity Council was created in 2021 by the enactment of a state law legalizing and safely regulating the adult-use of cannabis in Connecticut. It was developed to ensure the adult-use cannabis program is grown equitably and to bring funds from the program back to the communities hit hardest by the “war on drugs.”