Washington Pot Consultant Packs Diverse Resume, Officials Say Group Will Help State Do Legal Weed Right

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Verdurous, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. \tWashington Pot Consultant Packs Diverse Resume, Officials Say Group Will Help State Do Legal Weed RightBy GENE JOHNSON 03/19/13 06:13 PM ET EDT <span style="margin:0px;font-weight:bold;">[​IMG]</span>

    \nOLYMPIA, Wash. -- Green thumb? Check. Extensive knowledge of the black market? Check.
    \nThrow in impeccable academic credentials and decades of experience with government agencies, and you have Washington's marijuana consultant – a team advising officials on all things pot as they develop rules for the state's new industry in legal, heavily taxed marijuana.
    \nThe Washington Liquor Control Board introduced Massachusetts-based BOTEC Analysis Corp. as the presumptive winner of the consultant contract during a news conference Tuesday. The team is led by a University of California, Los Angeles, public policy professor and includes a former executive of the company that is the sole licensed supplier of medical marijuana in the Netherlands. It also includes researchers with the RAND Corp. who will help figure out how much marijuana state-licensed growers should produce.
    \n"These are, by far, the top consultants available," said Randy Simmons, who oversees the implementation of the legal weed law for the board. "We're serious about doing this the right way."
    \nWashington and Colorado last year became the first states to pass laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and setting up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and retail stores where adults over 21 can walk in and buy up to an ounce of heavily taxed cannabis. Sales could begin at the end of the year.
    \nThe votes left state officials with a daunting task: figuring out how to build a huge pot industry from scratch. The state's Liquor Control Board must determine how many growers and stores there should be, how much pot should be produced, how it should be packaged, and how it should be tested to ensure people don't get sick.
    \nThe board is doing a lot of its own research, with buttoned-up bureaucrats traveling to grow operations in California and Colorado as well as within Washington state. But the consultant's advice will also be important. The state is aiming to produce just enough marijuana to meet current demand: Producing too little would drive up prices and help the black market flourish, while producing too much could lead to excess pot being trafficked out of state.
    \nBOTEC – it stands for "back of the envelope calculations" – is a 30-year-old think tank headed by Mark Kleiman, a UCLA public policy professor with a doctorate from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. The firm has evaluated government programs and provided consulting relating to drug abuse, crime and public health. It studied the results of an effort to crack down on heroin dealers in Lynn, Mass., and in the early 1990s advised the Office of National Drug Control Policy on drug-demand reduction programs.
    \nKleiman has written several books on drug policy and crime, including "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know," and he has argued that states can't legalize marijuana – federal officials would never stand for it.
    \n"Pot dealers nationwide – and from Canada, for that matter – would flock to California to stock up," he wrote in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times in 2010, when California was considering legalizing marijuana. "There's no way on earth the federal government is going to tolerate that. Instead, we'd see massive federal busts of California growers and retail dealers, no matter how legal their activity was under state law."
    \nFor that reason, some marijuana advocates questioned how committed his team would be to carrying out the will of the voters. But Alison Holcomb, the author of Washington's new law, said the choice of a consultant who isn't a pot cheerleader sent a message that the state is taking its responsibilities seriously.
    \nThat's a crucial concern because state officials are trying to persuade the federal government not to sue to block the law from taking effect. Gov. Jay Inslee has said he stressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that Washington will have the best-regulated system possible, but the Justice Department still has not announced its intentions.
    \nSteven Davenport, BOTEC's managing director, said that with more than 30 people involved, the team comprises a wide range of opinions on marijuana legalization, but none is relevant to the task at hand: figuring out how it can best be accomplished, balancing the needs of a working marijuana distribution system with the interests of public health.
    \n"We understand the significance and the size of the task in front of us," Davenport said. "Our intent is to make sure the board does this correctly."
    \nOther team members include Michael Sautman, former CEO of Bedrocan International, the international affiliate of the only company licensed to produce medical marijuana for patients in the Netherlands; the company is overseen by the Dutch Ministry of Health, according to BOTEC's bid for the contract.
    \nSautman "has consulted lawmakers and regulators in Canada, Israel and several U.S. states regarding how medical marijuana is produced and distributed in the Netherlands," the bid reads.
    \nBeau Kilmer, co-director of RAND's Drug Policy Research Center, said RAND is already under contract with the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop a new approach for estimating the number of marijuana users across the country and how much pot they consume. His group will build off that work to estimate use by county in Washington state, and that it could involve Internet-based surveys asking people to detail their cannabis use – to the extent of asking them to explain the size of their most recent joint, as compared with a photograph of a joint next to a credit card or ruler for scale.
    \n"That's going to be a challenge, but I'm excited to work on it," Kilmer said.
    \nThe value of BOTEC's contract has not been set, but it is expected to exceed $100,000. The losing bidders have 10 days to contest the award.
    Johnson can be reached at . https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

  2. ""Throw in impeccable academic credentials and decades of experience with government agencies, and you have Washington's marijuana consultant – a team advising officials on all things pot as they develop rules for the state's new industry in legal, heavily taxed marijuana.""
    Heavily taxed because politicians feel like we need to pay back the tax dollars the ONDCP and DEA has wasted fighting pot all over the world,,and so heavily taxes that the legal market won't make a dent in the black market,,that is Klieman's goal for WA,,to make sure the legal market does not stop the black market or even impact it.
    Mr Klieman has worked for the ONDCP as a policy adviser,,propaganda is his specialty and anyone that has read his blogs knows he hates marijuana and it's users,,he has no experience with the black market and no idea what pot smokers would like or dislike in the marketing of marijuana,,he is a federal plant put in place to destroy the legal marijuana market and WA mmj program also if he gets the chance,,he is already trying to get control of the mmj program and turn it over to the LCB so the two markets do not have conflicting policies and has mentioned several times he thinks mmj is a hoax,,he is the enemy of legalization and it isn't hard to prove.
  3. #3 Mikeyak, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2013
    While all that it is true about him, the WSLCB will consider lowering the taxes on it to undercut the black market. From what I've read and heard the WSLCB is taking a lot of public opinion and actually doing a pretty good job setting the regulations. I don't even know how much their even using his input so far, plus the wslcb is already talking about adjusting tax rates to undercut the black market. Unlike Colorado, Washington does not need to vote on the tax portion of it which allows the wslcb to lower OR raise taxes to adjust for illegal market prices, which if the dispensaries or greedy growers keep their prices where there at (
    15$ a gram, 50$ an eighth, 250-300$ an ounce, that won't be too hard to do. It's like when legalization passed all the growers and dispensary owners saw the light and then jacked all their prices up for their "patients". BTW that article is pretty old, they announced this months ago.

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  4. Has the LCB figured out a way to tell growers they cannot charge the same price or more for marijuana than they were getting while it was illegal?
  5. That is why it is key for them to tax it at an appropriate amount. With the increased supply the price WILL eventually plummet. The dispensary owners will either strictly sell concentrates or go into the recreational side. Right now, on the eastside of the state, the price of weed has gone up and the quality as gone down due to growers waiting for the recreational licenses to be handed out. It will up to the state on how many licenses will be handed out to keep the supply large enough to meet demand but not too much that will supply the black market. It will take years to establish a completely legal market but the market will work itself out.

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  6. If all states were legal you would be right,,but not as it is,,there is no way to stop the legal pot from leaving their state,,hell they can't stop the illegal pot what makes anyone believe that will change,,,especilly with unemployment and the economy idling.
  7. True, national legalization would solve all of this, but the state has a successful history of regulating microbrews and wine, which IMO, have similar qualities to cannabis consumers in that they require variety, quality, and purity in their product. IF the state (licensed growers) can produce a quality product for 10-12$ a gram they will eventually crush the black market. As it stands right now, I know very few people who actually still go through a dealer who doesn't have a source to a dispensary (and like I said before are charging 12-15$ a gram for stuff that really is nothing spectacular), so the black market is already feeling the results.

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  8. You can just stop reading when you get to "Nixon's former drug czar."
    Yeah, this is exactly what the people voted for... the political process is so broken.
  9. Yeah the guy just doesn't "smell" right when it comes to setting up a proper regulatory system but IMO he and his firm were hired to keep the feds happy and that the state will rely more heavily on public opinion and their history with state-ran liquor stores and the extremely well regulated microbrew and wine industry.

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  10. at 10 bucks a gram you can easily produce quality marijuana.but at 25 percent tax at 3 levels that turns into 20 a gram at retail,Pot will have to be raised at at under 4 dollars a gram to be affordable enough to stay level with the black market.at every step from grow to packaging  to retail you also have to figure a 25 percent mark up at each level .At  a 25 percent  gross profit you would have to turn some pretty heft volume to make a good profit.lets say you had sales at 250,000. a year and your gross profit is at 25 percent you would have a gross profit of  62,500. before expenses.on about 139. pounds a year.ok so lets take out rent,utilites,insurance,and security.better triple your grow to about 417 lbs.Then you might make 62,000 a year.
  11. Exactly that's why the state stores will sell it at $10-12 a gram in the stores (including taxes at each level) and that will beat most of the dispensary prices. The black market here in Washington, as far as street dealers go, is drying up. Unless you have 10 different strains and a variety of edibles and other products, then people aren't buying from you, fact. I've known about 5-6 fairly big time weight movers that have completely abandoned selling herb because everybody is using the dispensaries (which are the greedy fucks that sell their "top shelf" for 15$+tax :(

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  12. The problem is that there will never be more weed than customers,,as long as other states are illegal. When all states are legal and producing their own crops,,then and only then will the normal laws of supply and demand kick in full force,,then competition for customers becomes even more important because they no longer have an outlet for low quality weed except to be used to make hash oil or edibles.
    Once a nationwide  commercial marijuana market is established prices will start to fall. I won't get to see that happen I am afraid,,,then again if marijuana users started clogging up the court systems demanding jury trials for every arrest,,it could happen within a few years. Now the DEA is targeting "designer drugs" big time,nationwide. Announcement pending at 15:00 EDT today.
  13. I live in spokane washington and little to none of my friends go to the dispensaries, its to pricey. its a big community of growers and friends here and everyone still seems to be getting it on the street. Hell a quarter is 50 bucks here average on the street. Maybe on the west side of washington its that way but not here, not yet.
  14. $10 a gram will not even phase the street dealers,they can even raise their prices at that figure,,but that is what Kleiman was sent by the DOJ to do,he is to make sure the legal market doesn't reduce the black market and if he can see that the state doesn't make the taxes everyone estimated. 
    CO is having the same thing happen to their initiative but politician's greed is rendering their legal weed higher than black market prices just from state taxes,,now some of the cities are wanting a 5% tax added for them and the first crops haven't even been licensed yet.
  15. IMO most of the high grade growers on the eastside are either holding out for the rec, over charging the dispensaries, or staying underground because of the federal raids a couple years back. Most of the stuff on the street is "medical" anyways just not the variety like in SOME of the dispensaries. When the state stores open up, provided they keep prices at or below the the black market (which the WSLCB is required to do by state law) and have a variety of high quality cannabis then eventually a lot people will drop their dealers like a hot sack of...well you know...now people who grow their own (which is still legal if you have a recommendation) will still have their regulars for sure, but as with the dispensaries, once people see variety, quality, purity, along with the convenience factor...$$$

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  16. Im selling my shit for 150 an ounce, no need to to get greedy plenty of money to be made
  17. If you need some good deals mike hit me up, im always looking to meet Spokane cannabis enthusiast

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