Menaka Mahajan, PhD
Dr. Mahajan worked for the City & County of San Francisco, first at the Ethics Commission and later at the Office of Small Business. She was involved in policy and legislation related to elections / campaign finance, cannabis regulation, land use/zoning, taxation, economic development, the environment, and labor rights. She has also worked in higher education and media/PR analytics for high tech firms.
In early 2018, Menaka founded Mahajan Consulting, which specializes in cannabis policy, regulatory affairs, and strategy. She advises entrepreneurs, industry organizations, and government.
In 2005, Menaka earned her BA from the University of California, Irvine (Zot Zot!). Originally on the pre-med track, she changed course after discovering her passion for Politics, Economics, and Public Policy and developed particular interest in two issue areas – human rights and drug policy. She completed her MA and PhD at the University of Miami (Go Canes!), focusing on international political economy, drug policy, and human trafficking. Her doctoral research explored factors that drive policy-making, particularly the interaction between government, business, and civil society.
Menaka devotes time to organizations related to politics, women’s leadership, socioeconomic justice, the environment, and animal welfare. She has volunteered with political campaigns, built local grassroots organizing communities, and served as an election officer. She volunteers with the East Bay SPCA as a foster parent and in the course of performing her duties, joined the foster-failure club with a new puppy ("Dougie" aka "Doobie").
She also serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of California Growers Association, on the leadership team of the Crop to Kitchen Movement, and as an advisor to the SF Cannabis Equity Working Group.