Dan Smith is vice president of VS Strategies based in Boston. He also serves of counsel for Vicente Sederberg LLP.
Dan works with a wide variety of cannabis industry stakeholders to evaluate and shape cannabis laws and regulations around the U.S. He came to VSS from the office of State Sen. Patricia Jehlen, who served as Senate chair — and now serves as vice chair — of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy.
In his role as legislative director and general counsel, Dan managed all the legislative work that went through the committee, most notably H. 3818, which created the statutory framework for adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts. That bill, which was signed into law and became Ch. 55 of the Massachusetts Acts of 2017, also codified much of the state's medical cannabis program. During that process, Dan met with stakeholders and experts from across the country, drafted much of the language that was signed into law, and was part of the team that negotiated the final compromise.
In addition to his work on cannabis, Dan successfully shepherded many other pieces of legislation through the Legislature, particularly in the areas of criminal justice and labor and employment law. He was one of the primary strategists behind a groundbreaking equal pay law, which received widespread press coverage and inspired similar efforts in many other states and Congress.