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Ep. 456: Lori Ajax

August 3, 2019

Lori Ajax, Chief of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, joins us to give a big picture update of what has been happening in California over the past 6 months. For example, as of late, it has been a priority to transfer those in the elicit market over to the legal market. Besides these recent developments, Ajax discusses the importance of engaging stakeholders and the community in terms of law-making and creating regulations – this is one of the most important lessons she has learned.

Transcript:

Seth Adler:
Lori Ajax returns. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com, that's two N's and the word economy, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. This is one of those sessions from our recent digital workshop at canneconomy.com.

Seth Adler:
So, Lori, along with more than 30 other leaders in policy, business, and science, I gave their direct insight, and you can see each of those sessions on demand at canneconomy.com. Very much appreciate all of the presenters, as well as our sponsors, Bedrocan, MedMen, and Juana Brands, as well as our partners, ASA, LEAP, [NPP 00:00:00:42], [MCBA 00:00:42], NCIA, Resource Innovation, and SSDP. And so, without further ado, Lori Ajax.

Seth Adler:
Okay, we've got Lori Ajax. Lori, thank you so much. It's been about six months, which means we usually do a six month update, as far as what's happening in legal cannabis in California. So thanks for your time, as always.

Lori Ajax:
Absolutely. I'm happy to be here.

Seth Adler:
So here we are, in the middle of 2019. Podcast land knows no time, but where have we been over the past six months? What would be your big picture update? And then we'll dive in.

Lori Ajax:
Big picture update, and especially over the last six weeks, we've been working on transitioning all of our temporary licenses into provisional or annual license. So that has been a huge lift. If you've been watching what's been going on with temporaries, the bureau had close to 1,800 that are expiring in July alone.

Lori Ajax:
So we've been working on that pretty steadily over the last several months, and things have been going really well. We've been able to transition people and not have people have a gap in licensure by having their license expire.

Seth Adler:
Okay. And as far as the number of licenses that you have made permanent, is that above expectations, is that right at expectations? It sounds like it's gone smoothly.

Lori Ajax:
Yeah, for us, it's gone very smoothly. I think it's about at expectation. But I am pretty ... I am happy to see we are getting a uptick off some annual applications coming in the door lately. So that is good news for us, because that's a big priority, is to continue issuing licenses for people that want to get into commercial cannabis activity.

Seth Adler:
That's exactly it. So, if you want to be in cannabis, we want you in legal cannabis. And so an uptick in licensures, it sounds like it means that to me. Is that what your translation is as well?

Lori Ajax:
Yeah. And if you've been watching what's been going on with the legislature, they did pass the trailer bill package early July. So, we now have ... We referred to it, we have provisional 2.0, so prior to July, we could only issue a provisional if the applicant had held or had a temporary license. The trailer bill change that. So now, anybody, they removed the requirement to have a temporary license.

Read the full transcript:

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