Menaka Mahajan, PhD
Dr. Mahajan is a former public servant of 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.
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 energy to politics, women’s leadership, socioeconomic justice, the environment, and animal welfare. She has worked on political campaigns, built local grassroots organizing communities, served as an election officer, and volunteered with the East Bay SPCA as a foster parent.
She serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of California Growers Association, as a policy advisor to the Crop to Kitchen Movement, and as an advisor to the SF Cannabis Equity Working Group.
She creates and nurtures collaborative communities, including the Green Public Square (a B2B Slack Community) and Think Tank Sesh (a think tank style sesh about policy, unified action, and outside the box thinking in the cannabis industry).