New panel will help determine who can grow, sell pot


OLYMPIA, Wash. - With the deadline to have marijuana regulations in place eight months away, the state Liquor Control Board announced it picked a Massachusetts-based biotech firm for the marijuana consulting position.

 The state had 112 submissions for the job, but Botec Analysis Corp. was the winner of the contract.

 The firm received the highest score in four categories used for selection including product and industry knowledge and national and international regulation knowledge.

 “We have assembled a scientific advisory panel featuring the world’s top experts in marijuana medicine, demographics and policy,” said project manager Steve Davenport.

 The panel will help the state decide on the best rules and policies for licensing the growing and selling of marijuana for recreational use as well as taxing it.

 Members of the biotech panel said it’s too soon to know any details for implementing Initiative 502, but one of the issues they’ll deal with is determining how much marijuana people in the state will consume.

Get more information on I-502 in our pot section.

 One of the panelists just finished work in Europe to estimate how much marijuana is consumed there by using a web survey.

 “It actually included pictures of unrolled joints of different sizes with a ruler and with credit cards.  The idea being able to ask people, ‘OK, think about the last time that you consumed. How big was that joint?’” said senior policy researcher Dr. Beau Kilmer.

 The panel will help determine who should be able to grow and sell marijuana for recreational use.

 It will also take on the task of determining how much of a black market for the drug will continue to exist.

 The state has set aside $100,000 to pay for the consulting contract, but the Liquor Control Board couldn’t say for sure if they will be able to keep the cost at that amount.