After about two months of searching, the CNMI Cannabis Commission finally announced last Tuesday its selection of Monique Sablan as its first managing director.
Sablan was selected among 13 applicants, according to Cannabis Commission chair Nadine Deleon Guerrero in a statement.
“Although we had a talented pool of applicants during our search, the commission felt [Sablan] was the perfect fit for the position,” she said in a statement. “[She] is an active volunteer and is a well-respected member of the community. She has demonstrated leadership skills through various successful program implementations, and with her skillset, knowledge and strong network, [Sablan] has what it takes to lead this industry forward.”
“The commission has full confidence that she will exceed expectations as we continue the establishment of the CNMI’s newest industry,” she added.
Sablan noted in a statement that the CNMI’s cannabis industry, although still in its infancy, can reap a variety of economic benefits such as new job opportunities, revenue generation, and even attract potential investors.
“…It establishes that authority to closely regulate the [use] of cannabis in the CNMI. I believe communication is key and I look forward to ensuring that our operations are fair and efficient,” Sablan said.
Sablan served as the special assistant for the Youth Affairs Office, where she oversaw and managed the daily operations of multiple youth centers within the CNMI. She was also the CNMI Scholarship Office workforce program coordinator and public information officer.
One of her goals as managing director is to ensure that the “…youth [have] the proper and thorough educational understanding of this new industry and why it’s important to abide by its access restrictions.”
“I also look forward to providing the same type of training to ensure that adults are using responsibly through adhering to regulations and the law,” she added.
Sablan has a degree in English with a minor in humanities and law from the University of California Irvine.
Among other responsibilities, Sablan is also a newly elected board member of the Marianas Young Professionals. She also served as committee chair of the Marianas March Against Cancer in 2018 and 2019 and is a former Human Resources & Administration Learning & Development supervisor and public relations liaison for Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.