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Former Harrisburg official joins cannabis company

An interior view of the RISE Steelton medical marijuana dispensary, which opened in the spring. - (Photo / File)

Harrisburg’s former community and economic development director has left for the private sector and a local job in the budding medical cannabis industry.

Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, which operates medical marijuana dispensaries in Carlisle, Steelton and York, has hired Jackie Parker to be its director of community engagement.

Parker will be responsible for community education and outreach for the three midstate dispensaries.

“I am passionate about educating our communities on medical marijuana and am looking forward to building on previously established relationships in these areas,” she said.

Parker, who spent the last four years with the city, is the former mayor of Lebanon. She also has worked as deputy secretary for Community Affairs and Development under former Gov. Ed Rendell and executive director of the City of Chester Redevelopment Authority.

“Jackie’s extensive background in public services is perfect for her new role with GTI,” said Tim Hawkins, the company’s Pennsylvania market president.

Green Thumb’s dispensaries operate under the RISE brand. The company also is a manufacturer with operations in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and Ohio, in addition to the Keystone state.

Green Thumb has about 400 employees and 59 retail locations in eight states. The company said its revenue exceeded $20 million last year.

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