Scientist examining cannabis. (Photo: Yanukit Sujj /

Press Release Provided by Department of Cannabis Control

Nicole Elliott, Director of the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC)

Nicole Elliott was confirmed today as Director of the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) by the California State Senate. In a show of confidence, 34 senators voted in favor of Elliott’s confirmation, and no senators voted in opposition.

Representatives of local government, cannabis businesses, law enforcement and labor unions voiced support for Elliott’s confirmation during the Senate Rules Committee hearing on March 30, 2022. Supporters noted Elliott’s strong leadership, her ability to make government accessible to all Californians, and her willingness to address challenges proactively and creatively.

“From day one, Director Elliott hit the ground running, responsibly leading the newly created Department of Cannabis Control, building a strong organizational culture and team, and creating meaningful stakeholder engagement opportunities”, said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “With Director Elliott at the helm, California will continue to be a national leader, forging new pathways for innovation and strengthening cannabis regulation.

Elliott was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom on July 13, 2021, as the first Director of DCC, and immediately began work leading the department during its formation. Under Elliott’s leadership, DCC has:

  • Awarded $100 million in grants to support local governments in transitioning provisional licensees into annual licensure
  • Launched a fee waiver program to support equity businesses
  • Proposed reforms to simplify and strengthen the cannabis regulatory framework, including consolidating three sets of regulations into one and proposals that would make comprehensive improvements
  • Merged the organizational structure of three programs into one department, and named a permanent and transitionary leadership team
  • Launched CannaConnect, a series of educational resources to help licensees maintain compliance

Elliott has led cannabis policy development and implementation at multiple levels of California state and local government since 2017, immediately prior to the start of adult-use (recreational) sales. Elliott served as Governor Newsom’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis from 2019 to 2021 and as the Director of the Office of Cannabis for the City and County of San Francisco from 2017 to 2019.

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