Just before California is about to officially legalize marijuana on January 1st, and ahead of her 2nd appearance at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, SFGate (via its Smell the Truth cannabis blog) interviewed Lori Ajax, the Golden State’s Cannabis Czar. Ajax, Chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, discusses issues such as the current licensing system, lessons learned and how future improvements to the regulatory system may be made.

Some of the interview on SFGate.com:

StT: What are the most vital lessons that you’ve learned from states that have previously introduced legal sales and regulations?

Ajax: We were fortunate to learn from the other states that have legalized medicinal and adult-use cannabis prior to legalization in California. An important lesson is that many of these states are continually making changes to their regulatory systems to address requirements that may not work as intended or new emerging business models. Even though we have our emergency regulations in place, in early 2018 we will begin the regular rulemaking process, which includes public hearings across the state and a longer comment period.

StT: Several medical cannabis businesses will certainly apply for recreational licenses. What will be their standing in the interim while applications are considered?

Ajax: All businesses wishing to operate on or after January 1 must have a state license to do so legally. Temporary licenses are available for both medicinal and adult-use activities.

The entire interview is certainly worth reading, as Ajax has the biggest, and probably the most difficult, job in the cannabis industry, leading the world’s 6th largest economy into the realm of legal, regulated cannabis commerce. While the future is always uncertain, it is clear that the economic opportunities in California are huge. Legal marijuana will create job, generate revenue and lead to more freedom for the California cannabis community.

Don’t miss California Cannabis Czar, Lori Ajax, as well as other regulators and industry experts at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 1st and 2nd. The event is expected to sell out, so don’t delay in getting your early-bird priced ticket