BOSTON (AP/WHDH) — The state’s top marijuana regulator says he’s committed to implementing the state’s recreational pot law and meeting timetables for beginning retail sales.

Steven Hoffman spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time since being named chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, the new state agency that will regulate recreational and medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

Among the first questions the retired Bain and Company executive faced at a news conference was why he voted against the November ballot initiative that legalized adult use of pot. He said he supported the objectives of the ballot question but felt it did not provide the state with enough time to safely implement the law.

Jim Borghesani, the spokesperson for the Yes On Four Coalition, said he will meet with Hoffman on Thursday. Borghesani said Hoffman needs to ask the state for an additional $8 million to help the industry get started.

Hoffman said a lot of work must be done in a short time if pot shops are to open as scheduled in July 2018. His first task is to hire staff and set up a meeting of the five-member commission.

“We’ve heard you. We’re going to implement the law that you voted for,” said Hoffman.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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