DENVER — Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Andrew Freedman, Director of Marijuana Coordination, will be transitioning out of the administration. Freedman will be launching a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski, LLC which specializes in advising state and local governments on how to best implement marijuana legalization.
Freedman was first hired in January 2011 by Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garcia to be chief of staff. He left that position in July of 2013 to become the campaign director for Yes on 66: Colorado Commits to Kids. In January of 2014 he was hired by Hickenlooper to be the State’s Director of Marijuana Coordination. He was charged with coordinating the State's efforts to implement the effective regulation of Colorado’s recreational and medical marijuana while promoting public health, maintaining public safety, and keeping marijuana out of the hands of children.
During his time as Director, Freedman worked with various departments to tackle some of the state’s most complex issues regarding marijuana legalization. He coordinated with the Department of Revenue, Department of Public Health and Environment, Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General’s Office to create the world’s first regulatory structure for recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp. Freedman rallied state resources and the community to pursue sensible policy options for banking, edibles, taxation, advertising, pesticides, data collection, and the gray and black markets. Freedman also served as the governor’s point person on marijuana issues for the federal government, the media, and other states and countries.
“Andrew Freedman has done a remarkable job shepherding Colorado through one of the great social experiments of this decade,” Hickenlooper said. “I think he has an invaluable expertise to support and assist other states as they work through issues of good government, public health, and public safety. I believe he can serve as a connection between these states so we can all share lessons learned and communicate effectively with the federal government.”
"It has been an honor to work for the administration, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor these last six years,” Freedman said. “Though I have often worked on some of the more divisive policies in Colorado politics, I have been amazed by the ability of Coloradans and this administration to come together to make sure we implement these policies in a way that benefits all of us. The Governor and Colorado have taught me that good government matters, and I will forever be grateful for that lesson."
The Governor’s November 1st budget requested that the Office of Marijuana Coordination be sunset by the end of the fiscal year. The office was intended to aid in the roll-out of a legalized system, and thereafter to allow departments to handle the long-term work. Going forward, the responsibilities of the Director of Marijuana Coordination will be handled by the Governor’s Senior Deputy Legal Counsel, Mark Bolton. Bolton will be the point person for the Governor for ongoing issues concerning marijuana legalization, and will maintain his responsibilities in the Office of Legal Counsel. Freedman will remain on staff part time to aid in this transition.
For more information on Freedman & Koski, LLC please visit www.FreedmanKoski.com, or email at info@FreedmanKoski.com.