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BOSTON — After six years at the regulatory helm of a still-emerging marijuana industry in Massachusetts, Kay Doyle has announced she will step down from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission in early May.

Doyle, previously deputy general counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, will cede her post on May 8, four months before it expires by law.

She is among five members who serve as top state officials overseeing policy, business licenses, farming and outdoor cultivation in the competitive, heavily regulated industry that ramped up swiftly when recreational pot shops were green-lighted to open in this state in 2018.

Progress on that front has slowed in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, which stymied business in recreational shops though medical marijuana sales continues.

“Throughout her time as a regulator, Commissioner Doyle has championed the interests of patients, farmers, small businesses, and veterans. In 2017, she led the Commission’s efforts to draft the state’s first adult-use cannabis regulations by creating a transparent and fair process … which emphasizes safety, equity, and sustainability in the Commonwealth’s cannabis industry,” read a statement by the commission released Monday.

Doyle released her own statement earlier today, saying she will return to the private sector. She did not offer more specific information.

“I am sad to leave, but very excited about the work I will be doing in the future,” Doyle said. “I am confident that the commission will continue to regulate adult use and medical use of cannabis in a manner that focuses on public health, safety, equity, and sustainability.”

Doyle was among the founding members of the commission appointed through a joint decision of the attorney general, treasurer and Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017.

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