Deputy state Commissioner of Health Jackie Cornell will be departing the Murphy administration for a top post at 1906, a big player in the cannabis industry.
The move takes Cornell out of the running to replace Commissioner of Health Shereef Elnahal, who is leaving the cabinet to become the new president of University Hospital in Newark.
Cornell has served as principal deputy commission since 2018, heading the Public Health Services Branch of the New Jersey Department of Health. She previously served in the Obama administration as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing the New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At 1906, a leader in the premium edible area, Cornell will be involved in regulatory and public policy issues surrounding cannabis. She will focus on areas of corporate responsibility, and in helping people previously incarcerated for minor drug offenses.
“At 1906, every conversation comes back to how can we help people live better; whether that’s managing their anxiety, helping them get a good night’s sleep or simply making their day a little bit more blissful – all things that lead to an improved quality of life,” says Cornell. “I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”
Cornell says she envisions a major role for education as national polices connected to cannabis catch up with public opinion.
“People see the benefit in their own lives,” Cornell said. ““I’ve learned through my background in public health that we don’t see improvements by telling people what to do. We encourage them to make better decisions themselves by empowering them with information and education.”