No. 43: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

No. 43: Lori Ajax

Lori Ajax was appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown as the first chief of the new Bureau of Cannabis Control. That’s no easy job as California grapples with legalized weed, and Ajax is at the epicenter. She took on the challenge of building an agency from the ground up amid changing regulations. It’s been slow going: In a recent audit, the state finance department noted that only 75 of the bureau’s 219 authorized positions have been filled to date. The current staff is not adequate to keep up with the demands for oversight, the audit said. Meanwhile, Ajax has kicked off a campaign “Get #WeedWise” to encourage consumers to buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. She has warned those in the considerably large black market that the bureau will be stepping up enforcement on those who operate outside the law. Ajax previously worked 22 years at the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, including serving as chief deputy director.

Updated August 21, 2019

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