Axel Bernabe serves as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Director. Axel is responsible for standing-up and overseeing all aspects of the Office of Cannabis Management. Prior to starting the OCM, Axel spent 6 years as chief health counsel to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, overseeing all legal and policy deliberations in the health portfolio. As part of his cannabis responsibilities, he led the expansion of the medical program, directed the launch of the State's cannabinoid hemp program, and drafted and negotiated the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). Prior to joining the Cuomo administration, Axel was a partner at an international law firm where he was a nationally recognized antitrust expert, with a focus on the healthcare industry.
Cannabis Law Institute 2023