Colorado's New Marijuana Director Has MED Roots

Dominique Mendiola is Colorado's newest marijuana czar.
Dominique Mendiola is Colorado's newest marijuana czar.
Colorado governor's office
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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.

“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.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.