This week Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced his picks to fill out the five-person board of directors of the state’s nascent cannabis regulatory authority.

Among the 5 are three Richmonders: Neil Amin, CEO of Shamin Hotels; Rasheeda Creighton, co-founder of The Jackson Ward Collective and CEO at consulting firm The 3Fifty Group; and Shane Emmett, co-founder and former CEO of Health Warrior.

Amin has been selected to be the chairman.

Also included are Portsmouth lawyer Michael Massie and Bette Brand of Roanoke, who is CEO of rural development firm Strategic Consulting LLC.

The board will head up the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, which was formally created earlier in July.

Northam’s picks for the board and the authority’s CEO (which he has not picked yet as of Monday) will need to be approved by the General Assembly.

The state’s Cannabis Control Authority will create industry regulations and issue business licenses. The board of directors will be able to grant, suspend and revoke licenses.

“We are at the forefront of a long process of learning and collaboration with Virginians across the Commonwealth and I am honored to work with the administration, elected officials and fellow board members to develop a new state agency that protects public health and safety, while promoting social equity in the legalization and regulation of cannabis in Virginia,” Amin said in an email.

“It’s really tough to go ahead and jump in on my thoughts on those kinds of things. We’re at the beginning of a very complicated and long process,” Brand said. “I think we have a lot to learn from other states, the good and bad.”

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