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February 20, 2023 / 2023 Power 50

2023 Power 50: 42. Paul O. Robertson

Paul O. Robertson

As the new chair of the state’s Social Equity Council, Paul Robertson is playing a key role in trying to make sure Connecticut’s burgeoning cannabis industry grows fairly.

Adult-use cannabis sales launched in January and reached the $2-million mark within about a week.  

Gov. Ned Lamont picked Robertson, who is deputy commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), to serve as council chair starting in 2023, replacing Andrea Comer in the role. 

Robertson has worked with Comer and council members to try to lay the groundwork for an equitable cannabis entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

He serves on the council as the designee of the DECD commissioner and brings experience and strong relationships with council members, according to Lamont. 

Robertson said he plans to work alongside other council members and partner agencies to try to ensure the adult-use cannabis market grows equitably. That includes trying to ensure that funds from cannabis sales and license fees are brought back to the communities hit hardest by the war on drugs.

The Social Equity Council includes 15 members and was created in 2021 when lawmakers decided to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Robertson was named deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of DECD in February 2022. In that position, he oversees the DECD’s business development, government affairs, tourism, marketing and communications. 

His background also includes serving as chairman of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau and senior vice president of corporate development at Connecticut Public Broadcasting.

He also served in other broadcasting management and sales positions at Radio Disney Connecticut, IMG Learfield, NBC Connecticut and CBS Radio (Audacy) in Farmington.

Find out who else is in the 2023 Power 50.

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