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Executive Director of the Office of Social Equity


Recruitment #23-005485-0016



During the 2023 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Cannabis Reform Act, an emergency bill that – among other things – established the Office of Social Equity (OSE) and the position of the Executive Director of the Office of Social Equity (Executive Director). On May 3, 2023, Governor Wes Moore signed the Cannabis Reform Act into law, which established OSE. The Governor’s Appointments Office is currently conducting a search for the Executive Director position.

Governor Moore and legislators have placed a strong emphasis on ensuring social equity and parity in the new adult-use recreational cannabis industry in Maryland. Thus, the incumbent of this position – and OSE – will be a highly-visible and critical stakeholder in the development of policies, strategies, and procedures that will promote economic parity and social justice in the regulation and enforcement of the new Cannabis law. Functions of OSE While it is nested under the newly-established Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA), the OSE will operate as an independent unit of state government and will report to the Governor’s Office. OSE will be led by an Executive Director that is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The OSE will:

● Promote and encourage participation in the regulated cannabis industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs; 
● Consult with, assist, and annually report on the administration of the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund and the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund, both of which are administered by the Department of Commerce; 
● Administer the Social Equity Partnership Grant Program, which incentivizes existing operators to assist social equity businesses through mentorship, training, and shared commercial space; 
● Review all cannabis-related policies, legislation, and regulations and provide comment and feedback - if and when appropriate – on its impact on social equity; 
● Provide recommendations to the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission (ATCC) and the MCA on regulations related to diversity and social equity applicants; 
● Work with MCA to implement free technical assistance for social equity and minority cannabis business applicants; 
● Report on and recommend actions to enhance diversity and equity in ownership, management, and employment in the cannabis industry; and 
● Assist businesses with receiving financing through the Capital Access Program, which is administered by the Department of Commerce.

Candidates will undergo a vetting and interview process administered by the Governor’s Appointments Office. Interested candidates should email a cover letter, a resume, a statement of capabilities, and references to:

Tisha Edwards 
Secretary of Appointments 
Office of the Governor




Annapolis, MD


The Executive Director is a new position established by the Cannabis Reform Act. This position is appointed by, reports to, and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. This position will require Senate confirmation during the 2024 Legislative Session.

The Executive Director will:

● Serve as the Administration’s leader in the area of social equity, social justice, and economic equality in the new recreational cannabis industry;
● Execute the short-term and long-term operational and policy requirements of OSE as outlined in the Cannabis Reform Act and as directed by the Governor’s office; 
● Lead a staff on approximately 5-7 employees (in Fiscal Year 2024), with the expectation that additional staff will be onboarded as the roles and functions of OSE are more clearly defined; and 
● In partnership with the Governor’s office, the MCA, the ATCC, and other government stakeholders, oversee the development of policies, regulations, legislative proposals, and strategies related to social equity and justice pertaining to the medical and adult use of cannabis.

Pre-July 1 Priorities:

Through statutory requirements and Administration priorities, the following action items must be prioritized and completed as soon as possible but no later than July 1:

1. Work with the MCA – which will provide administrative support – to identify and recruit employees (5-7 in Fiscal Year 2024) to support the work of the OSE;
2. Review emergency regulations promulgated by the MCA to determine if any provisions burden or contradict the legislative intent of the establishment of OSE; 
3. In consultation with the Attorney General, identify the disproportionately impacted areas that had above 150% of the State’s 10-year average for cannabis possession charges; 
4. Determine the percentage allocable of the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund to each county; 
5. Consult and coordinate with the Comptroller on administration of the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund; and 
6. Partner with the Department of Commerce to develop policies, procedures, and strategies for the administration of the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund.


The Cannabis Reform Act requires that the Executive Director have at least five years of experience in civil rights advocacy, civil rights litigation, or another area of social justice. Given the scope of responsibilities, a preferred candidate would have experience, knowledge or training in one or more of the following:

1. Cannabis industry
2. Business development 
3. Law and policy 
4. Evaluation and analysis

Since the position will be highly visible and critical to fostering an equitable cannabis industry in the State, a preferred candidate should also be a skilled relationship builder who has worked with individuals and community organizations in areas disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.



Candidates will undergo a vetting and interview process administered by the Governor’s Appointments Office. Interested candidates should email a cover letter, a resume, a statement of capabilities, and references to: 
Tisha Edwards 
Secretary of Appointments 
Office of the Governor

For questions regarding this recruitment, please contact the DBM Recruitment and Examination Division at or 410-767-4850, MD TTY Relay Service 1-800-735-2258.

We thank our Veterans for their service to our country.

People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

As an equal opportunity employer, Maryland is committed to recruitment, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State's diversity.

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