CA medical marijuana czar says she never smoked pot

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 4:45 AM

ms/1qeCfoU) in an interview Thursday."But from the outreach I've done since I got here, it appears there is a medical need, and I'm tasked with doing this, and I'm going to do it."Ajax was appointed as the first chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in Feb by Gov.

CA medical marijuana czar says she never smoked pot

California'south medical marijuana czar says she believes there'south a necessity for weed, although she'south never smoked pot herself.

"Unlike regulating alcohol, I'm not a user of marijuana, so I'm not familiar with how that affects people or what it does," Lori Ajax told the LA Times (http://lat. ms/1qeCfoU) in an interview Thursday.

"But from the outreach I've done since I got here, it appears there is a medical need, and I'm tasked with doing this, and I'm going to do it."

Ajax was appointed as the first chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in Feb by Gov. Jerry Brown. The work pays $150.636 a year and requires state Senate approval.

Ajax'south div is working with several existing departments on drafting regulations that'll guide the process for granting licenses, imposing sanctions, setting product-labeling and health standards, and tracking sales.

The Legislature, which passed the licensing law latest year, wants to start regulating the well-entrenched and large medical marijuana industry by 2018.

Ajax is well alert of the deadline.

"I have on my whiteboard 'six hundred thirty-three days.' It'south a excellent reminder how it'south actually a brief period of time," she said.

The schedule includes adding staff — the div is budgeted for twenty-five employees — and setting up meetings to obtain public feedback. Following will arrive drafting the regulations and putting them out for public comment.

Ajax wants to require background and fingerprint checks to weed out serious criminals who might wish to be licensed growers and sellers.

Some of the key features of the medical marijuana framework the Legislature approved — such as limiting how many licenses an individual person or business can hold — were modeled after California'south alcohol license laws.

Ajax was chief deputy director of the CA Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where she's worked as an investigator and administrator since 1995.

The 51-year-old Republican said she doesn't recollect whether she voted for Proposition two hundred fifteen, the one thousand nine hundred ninety-six ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana use.

"At the finish of the day, my opinion shouldn't matter," she said. "This is what was passed into law, and I'm going to obtain this done by Jan. one, 2018."

The work could widen to comprise regulating nonmedical pot if Californians vote to legalize recreational use. Backers are trying to space a legalization initiative on November's ballot.

Ajax said she'd number position on the initiative.

"Right now, I've sufficient on my plate just dealing with medical marijuana," she said.

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