Cat Packer

Director of Drug Markets and Legal Regulation

Cat also currently serves as Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, Vice Chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition, Advisor to the Parabola Center and is a contributing author to the Thomas Reuters Cannabis Law Deskbook. Cat envisions drug policy reform as both an opportunity and responsibility to promote harm reduction and advance equity and social justice.

Cat is recognized as the first person of color in the nation to lead a medical and adult-use cannabis regulatory program. From 2017 to 2022, Cat served as the first Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation where she led efforts to advise and implement cannabis business licensing and regulation in ‘the world’s largest cannabis market.’ Under her leadership, the City of Los Angeles licensed over 1200 cannabis businesses, collected over $320 million in cannabis tax revenue and became one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to establish programming designed to promote equitable ownership and employment opportunities in the cannabis industry.

Prior to her role as a regulator, Cat worked for the Drug Policy Alliance where she organized cannabis-related legislative and public affairs strategies and partnerships at the state and local level. 

Cat is a proud alumna of The Ohio State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in public policy and management, a Juris Doctor and was named the 2020 Recipient of the Moritz College of Law Outstanding Recent Alumna Award. 

A leading expert on cannabis law and policy, Cat regularly presents to policymakers, regulators and academics, has been featured in various media outlets including The Japan Times, BBC London, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Fast Company, High Times Magazine and was an EBONY Power 100 20202 Social Justice Honoree.