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Executive Leadership

Executive Director Christopher Alexander

Christopher Alexander

Chris Alexander is the inaugural Executive Director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. Appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul in September 2021, he is charged with the implementation and oversight of New York's cannabinoid hemp, adult-use, and medical cannabis programs. A long-time advocate for social justice, racial equity, and civic engagement; Mr. Alexander is the architect of the Start SMART NY campaign to end marijuana prohibition and the lead drafter of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, New York's marijuana legalization bill. He is a native of Hollis, Queens and the son of immigrant parents who came to the United States from the Caribbean Island of Grenada.  

 

He has previously worked as the Government Relations & Policy Manager for a multi-state cannabis company, as an Associate Counsel for the New York State Senate and Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. He has also worked as a staffer in the House of Representatives during the 113th Congress and has led political campaigns on the state and local level.

Chief Equity Officer Damian Fagon

Damian Fagon

 

Damian Fagon was appointed as the Chief Equity Officer of the NYS Office of Cannabis Management in June 2022. In this role, Mr. Fagon will oversee the social and economic equity initiatives laid out in the MRTA. As a 3rd-generation farmer with a background in international development, agriculture and small business, he has led development initiatives with castor farmers in Jamaica, rice growers in Sierra Leone, and coffee exporters in Guatemala. Mr. Fagon has also launched and advised commercial cannabis operations in South Carolina, New York, and the Caribbean.