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These California politicians once helped regulate legal marijuana. Now they’re working for the industry

As California’s attorney general from 1999 to 2007, Bill Lockyer was on the inside as the state wrestled with a developing marijuana industry. But these days he’s watching the transformation from the outside, as co-founder of a licensed pot distributor in Lynwood.

Lockyer, whose four-decade public career included a stint as the powerful leader of the state Senate, is among a growing number of former government leaders, bureaucrats and regulators who have joined or established financial ties with the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry in the last few years.

More than two dozen government officials in California have made the leap. Most, like Lockyer, jumped in after voters in 2016 approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, distributing and selling cannabis for recreational use.

Lockyer said he was drawn by his fascination with seeing a new industry spring up.

“What has been interesting to me — an academic interest — is watching a whole new business sector evolve, from an illicit market to a legal system, and how people do it and the companies that get created. It’s rare that you ever get to see that,” Lockyer said. [Read more at The Los Angeles Times]

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