Mayor picks head of new Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation

- Cat Packer has been appointed as executive director of the new Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday.

The department was created in June after Los Angeles voters approved new regulations and taxation guidelines for cannabis in March. Cannabis will become legal for recreational use in California in 2018.

Packer has previously worked as a policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance and advocated for responsible cannabis policy in California, an aide to Garcetti said.

"Taxing and regulating legal cannabis in Los Angeles will be a complex process,'' Garcetti said. "We need someone leading the effort who understands and can navigate those nuances.

"Cat's experience makes her an excellent fit for this new role. I am confident that her work will help us implement new regulations in a way that is fair and equitable for all of our communities, respects our neighborhoods and raises valuable new revenue for city services.''

Packer said she was looking "forward to serving the city of Los Angeles as we lead the development and implementation of responsible, equitable cannabis policies that will serve as a model for the rest of America.''

"I can't wait to get started, and I'm grateful to Mayor Garcetti for this amazing, pioneering opportunity,'' Packer said.

Packer's appointment is subject to City Council confirmation.

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