Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has joined the board of MedMen Enterprises. MedMen Enterprises is a cannabis company based in Los Angeles with 19 locations nationwide. The company also financially supports marijuana law reform.
Villaraigosa supported legalizing marijuana in California as well and views marijuana legalization as a social justice issue. "I'm excited for this opportunity to shape the cannabis industry and its commitment to social equity by joining the board of the company that is leading the charge," he said.
Villaraigosa is also the former president of the ACLU in Southern California and understands how minorities are disproportionately arrested for marijuana. The ACLU reports that black people are 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people.
The former mayor told reporters Wednesday that social issues would be part of his new mission with the company. "I understand the goal [of social equity]; I've supported it from the beginning," said Villaraigosa.
MedMen CEO Adam Bierman said that the former mayor will be instrumental in helping the company expand throughout the state as well as countrywide. "He has dedicated his career to empowering local communities, and we look forward to his leadership," he concluded.
The Former Mayor Has A Prominent Political Career
Villaraigosa has many accolades and a long career in politics. He served as the mayor of Los Angeles from 2005 to 2013, while also serving as the President of the United States Conference of Mayors in 2012.
Villaraigosa was also the Speaker of the California State Assembly for two years before becoming a Los Angeles councilmember in 2003 prior to his term as the city's mayor in 2005. President Obama appointed the former LA mayor to chair the Democratic Convention in 2012, and Time magazine has called him one of the 25 most influential Latinos in America.
Villaraigosa was also a Democratic Party candidate in California's 2018 gubernatorial race but lost the nomination to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Villaraigosa is not the first prominent politician to join a cannabis company. Two of his fellow politicians joined the board of the cannabis company Acreage Holdings earlier this year. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and the former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner both joined the company in April.