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Tremaine Wright — Life and Career

Tremaine Wright is the Chairwoman of the NY State Cannabis Control Board, and she formerly served in the capacity of a member of the New York State Assembly. This article will explore her life and career as a woman who made a difference in the world around her.

Through her hard work and determination, Tremaine Wright has created a huge impact on her family and neighborhood. After graduating from college, she had to choose between pursuing law school and getting a doctoral degree. 

“I decided that law school would give me more career options, and I definitely was right about that. So much of what I learned at UChicago– inside the classroom and outside of it– has shaped everything I’ve done since then,” she said.

Graduating from Law School

After achieving her first milestone of graduating from law school, Tremaine joined the Paul Hastings law firm in Manhattan. This allowed her to return to the neighborhood where she grew up, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and still lives to date.

Within a few years of working at Paul Hastings, she was appointed as a member of the area’s community board, the municipal entity responsible for advising government agencies and elected officials.

Tremaine remained an integral part of the board for 14 years and represented her community as part of the district. Her time at Paul Hastings taught her many valuable lessons, including familiarizing her with the tech sector that is still helping her with her job today.  

Election to the State Assembly

Wright left Paul Hastings to join Skadden Arps, where she worked till 2009. While working at Skadden, she ventured into a new business and started a coffee shop named Common Grounds. She continued her business operation for 10 years until she was elected to the State Assembly.

“Common Grounds wasn’t just a name, it was a principle,” she recalls. “We provided an intersection for every element of local society, we stood for social justice and community empowerment, we helped people in need, and we became the stable hub around which a whole business area blossomed.” 

After becoming a part of the State Assembly, she chaired the Puerto Rican, Black, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus. As we all know, “Unity is Strength” as part of a group, Tremaine was able to influence state legislation and even affect practices and policies in jurisdictions within her state. 

Using her position, Tremaine initiated important activities. “My office has a big, broad mandate, and there are so many things we hope to do to empower and support people throughout the state for brighter financial futures. Every day of doing this is a source of great happiness for me.”

Chair of the Cannabis Control Board

When State Senator Velmanette Montgomery announced Tremaine as her successor in New York’s 25th State Senate district, Wright entered the race but lost to Brisport’s 13-point lead in 2020.

In September 2021, Tremaine was appointed to the Office of Cannabis Management’s Cannabis Control Board chair. Her responsibilities include formulating tax and regulatory policies regarding the medical and adult use of cannabis in the state of New York.

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