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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has hired the former director of cannabis programs for New York State Norman Birenbaum as its first senior public health adviser on cannabis research and regulation efforts, according to an internal memo from earlier this week provided to MarketWatch by an FDA spokesperson. “With his expertise in policy analysis and legislative outreach related to cannabis and cannabis-derived products, Norman is excited about creating the high-value partnerships needed for FDA’s outreach throughout the health care community, including with patients and patient advocacy groups,” said Douglas C. Throckmorton, the FDA’s deputy center director for regulatory programs. Birenbaum was New York State’s director of cannabis programs under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He’s also the founding president of the Cannabis Regulators Association and worked on the launch of adult use cannabis sales in Rhode Island.

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