Colorado has a new marijuana czar, and she's no stranger to pot policy. Governor John Hickenlooper announced today, July 5, that Dominique Mendiola is now the state's director of marijuana coordination.
Mendiola had served as the deputy director of the Marijuana Enforcement Division since 2014, the same year recreational pot businesses opened in Colorado. Under that role, she helped implement new legislation and facilitate communications between the MED and marijuana industry stakeholders, as well as analyze policy and serve as the primary liaison between the MED and Colorado's attorney general.
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“Coordination is key in ensuring Colorado maintains an effective adult use legalized marijuana strategy,” Hickenlooper said in a statement announcing Mendiola's hiring. “We are excited to welcome Dominque to the team. I look forward to her guidance as new issues emerge that require our attention.”
Mendiola is well known among industry influencers. She's a regular presence at MED rule-making meetings and presented the agency's positions on proposed marijuana legislation at the General Assembly. A civil litigation attorney before working in marijuana policy, Mendiola replaces Mark Bolton, who left the position in March to become a government affairs consultant for law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
Colorado's first pot czar, Andrew Freedman, left in 2017 to found his own cannabis policy consulting agency for ancillary businesses and local and state governments.