A former longtime Colorado lobbyist with deep ties to the marijuana industry has been tapped to serve as the state’s new Cannabis Control Division director.

Kristen Thomson, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University and a graduate certificate in strategic communications from the University of Colorado, joined the division Nov. 1. Her salary is $105,000 a year. Thomson will run the division that was created as part of the state Regulation and Licensing Department to develop the framework for New Mexico’s recreational cannabis industry.

Thomson did not return messages seeking comment but described herself in her résumé as “a strategic and forward-thinking senior leader with extensive experience leading external affairs strategy development and execution.”

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