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You Thought Legalization Was Tough? Try Regulating Marijuana

By Robyn Hagan Cain on January 31, 2013 9:02 AM

After passing Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana in November, Washington is now stuck trying to learn about — and regulate — pot. It's a challenge. So much so that the state is hiring a consultant to help draft its marijuana laws.

It's an unusual situation for the Liquor Control Board, which will oversee cannabis use and abuse. Think about it: It's not every day that a state decides to legalize something that the federal government continues to criminalize.

The Board must address how the state will approach growing, tracking, testing, processing, distributing and selling cannabis products before the end of the year, The Olympian reports. And it won't do it alone. The consultant, remember?

Washington has issued a 17-page request for proposals (RFP) outlining the topics that the consultant -- or team of consultants -- will help define. The areas include:

  • Product and industry knowledge. How is marijuana grown, harvested, cured and processed? How is it infused into food and beverages? How should it be packaged, labeled, transported and sold? How should it be accounted for?
  • Product-quality standards and testing. How should it be scientifically tested to ensure quality, ingredients and safety? The successful candidate must have experience with cannabis testing to determine "THC/CBD levels and ratios, mold or chemical contaminants and strain."
  • Product use and consumption validation. How much will people in Washington use? How much will be used in various geographic areas of the state?
  • Product regulation. To assist the state Liquor Control Board in crafting laws or guidelines related to cannabis.

Do you have a workable knowledge of the green market? Do you want to make history? There's still time to apply to be an Initiative 502 implementing consultant. Consultant proposals are due February 15, and the winner(s) will be announced March 5. The final award will be announced March 20, The Olympian reports.

Best of all, non-heinous felony priors -- like pot priors -- will not automatically take you out of the running, according to Politico.

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