After four years at the helm, Scott Rudder has stepped down from the role of president at New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, which he founded. Longtime Strategic Advisor Edmund DeVeaux has assumed the presidency after the board unanimously approved him Tuesday night.
“When we started NJCBA four years ago this month, our main objective was and continues to be about patient access, about ending cannabis prohibition, about expanding the industry and making sure it’s open and transparent,” Rudder said.
“After Nov. 3, we started to look at where this organization is going, and I thought it was a really good time for me to step down for personal reasons to pursue other business endeavors and to have Ed DeVeaux take this to the next level,” he said. “We’re transitioning from a prohibition state to a legal state. Ed’s gonna bring a lot of new energy. He’s such a unifying person.”
DeVeaux began his professional career in New Jersey state government and worked as a capital budget analyst in the New Jersey Department of the Treasury Office of Management and Budget. He and Rudder have been business partners at Trenton-based public affairs outfit Burton Trent for five years.
According to his biography on Burton Trent’s website, DeVeaux’s career includes leadership roles with the country’s largest multinational water-related service and environmental companies, in which he’s been part of the external growth, internal development, and public policy and reputation management strategies of these companies.
Since Rudder launched the NJCBA four years ago, DeVeaux has been to just about every meeting, he said.
“While this is a traditional business group, we recognize that this is not a traditional industry,” Rudder said. “It’s not just about profit and loss as you’d find in other industries. There has to be a portion of this that recognizes the patent injustice in cannabis prohibition and the compassion needed [to advocate for cannabis as a medicine].
“Ed’s gonna make sure we do this as we transition from prohibition to legalization. He’s the right person at the right time to move this ball forward,” Rudder said.
Rudder will remain on the board of directors and is currently developing a company with a focus on medical research, education, regulation and consultancy.
The group’s Executive Director Tara Sargente has been elevated to the board of directors. Her replacement was not announced. Additionally, board member and Archer & Greiner Partner Bill Caruso was named general counsel.
DeVeaux did not return a request for comment by press time.