File photo of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull with former Gov. Dannel Malloy

Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull will leave state service soon after the launch of Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis market early next year for other professional opportunities, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday. 

In an afternoon press release, Lamont said Seagull would depart in the first quarter of 2023. The governor praised Seagull, an attorney and holdover from the administration of his predecessor, Dannel Malloy. 

“Michelle has been a strong and thoughtful advocate on behalf of both residents and businesses, and a well-respected leader of an agency that’s nearly doubled in size and scope during her tenure,” Lamont said. “She strengthened our response to the opioid epidemic, navigated the legalization of both medical and adult-use cannabis, and modernized many agency policies and procedures. Connecticut’s consumers are safer and our economy is stronger because of her and the team she built at DCP.”

Seagull’s tenure under Lamont included the launch of both the coming recreational cannabis market and the legalization and regulation of online casino gambling and sports betting in Connecticut. 

“I am proud of everything we have accomplished in the past two years alone, launching two newly regulated industries in record time, all while continuing to do the work we’ve always done to protect consumers and promote fair and regulated markets,” Seagull said in a statement.

Seagull’s planned exit continues a string of departures announced by the governor’s administration as Lamont transitions into his second term in office. The governor has announced turnover among his top aides and among agency commissioners at the Departments of TransportationEconomic and Community Development, and Social Services

The news comes just days after Andrea Comer, a DCP deputy commissioner and head of the state Social Equity Council, announced she would leave the agency at the end of the month to take a job as chief of staff to incoming state Treasurer Erick Russell.

The turnover at the Consumer Protection Department coincides with the expected launch of Connecticut cannabis retailers on Jan. 10. According to a press release from Lamont’s office, Seagull will remain commissioner in the coming weeks “to oversee the successful launch of Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis retail market and assist with the transition needs of the agency and administration.”