California’s new “marijuana czar” admits she doesn’t know much about the drug she’s about to regulate.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Lori Ajax as the state’s first chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in February after signing legislation in December that created a new cannabis bureaucracy.

Some in the marijuana community welcomed the legislation, as it provides state licensing for dispensaries for the first time.

But it’s not clear if Ajax will be as welcome.

“Unlike regulating alcohol, I’m not a user of marijuana, so I am not familiar with how that affects people or what it does,” she told the L.A. Times in a recent interview.

That’s reassuring.

The $150,000 a year pot czar said she’s focused on getting the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) implemented by 2018.

The law will license not only dispensaries but producers and growers.

“At the end of the day, my opinion shouldn’t matter,” she said. “This is what was passed into law, and I’m going to get this done by Jan. 1, 2018.”

About The Author

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Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out: raul@the420times.com

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