STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — Former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa is now in the weed business — the legal kind, of course.
MedMen, the Culver City-based, high-end cannabis company that is quickly becoming the preeminent name in recreational pot in L.A., announced Wednesday Villaraigosa is joining the board of the publicly traded company.
Villaraigosa recently lost his bid in the Democratic gubernatorial primary against former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“Few people understand Los Angeles and our home state better than Mayor Villaraigosa,” MedMen CEO Adam Bierman said in a statement. “He will be instrumental in guiding MedMen’s expansion in the Golden State and through his broad network, Mr. Villaraigosa will help MedMen solidify its presence across the country.”
Villaraigosa told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday he would be working with the company on social issues. “I understand the goal [of social equity]; I’ve supported it from the beginning. But we’ve got to make it work. Right now, a lot of what we have is doodles on paper,” he told the Times.
Villaraigosa was a vocal proponent of Prop 64, which was passed in 2016 and made the recreational use of marijuana in California legal beginning this year.
Villaraigosa joins the board with the likes of Jay Brown, the head of Jay-Z’s RocNation, and Stacey Hallerman, former executive at luxury Swiss watch maker Richemont.
He also isn’t alone when it comes to erstwhile politicians turned legal pot boosters. Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner announced earlier this year he was joining the board of cannabis company Acreage Holdings. Boehner had fought marijuana legalization in Washington, D.C., but tweeted his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.”
“I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities,” Boehner said in an April tweet.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox in June announced he was joining the board of marijuana magazine “High Times.” Fox has been a longtime proponent of marijuana legalization worldwide, telling Reuters in 2013, “The cost of the war is becoming unbearable – too high for Mexico, for Latin America and for the rest of the world.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)