State Seeks Marijuana Advice
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State Seeks Marijuana Advice
Posted by CN Staff on December 01, 2012 at 05:21:00 PT
By Mike Baker, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Olympia -- State officials tasked with developing a legal marijuana industry in Washington state have a problem: There’s no similar system anywhere in the world that they can look to for guidance. The state’s Liquor Control Board also says it has little insight into the basics of pot cultivation, such as how the marijuana should be grown, how much acreage the state will need to develop sufficient supply, how it should be processed or how it should be sold at the retail level.
They are looking to solicit bids from experts around the country while at the same time taking plenty of unsolicited phone calls from those who want to help. “There are a lot of people who think they have a lot of expertise in this area,” Rick Garza, deputy director of the Liquor Control Board, said during a state Senate hearing Friday. State leaders are moving ahead with developing the system even as they await word of whether the federal government will oppose it. Several state agencies have been forming teams that will look at issues such as licensing, legal matters, enforcement and education. Alison Holcomb, the drug policy director for the ACLU of Washington state who led efforts to pass the marijuana legalization initiative, said the goal of the measure was to make the marijuana retail outlets similar to the recently disbanded state-run liquor stores. She said they would be very controlled, very boring retail outlets with limited signage. Holcomb said they don’t envision state employees selling the marijuana, however, as they want individuals to volunteer to lead the shops since there is still uncertainty over how the federal government will respond. “They do still risk arrest and prosecution under federal law,” Holcomb said. Garza said they knew from the beginning that Washington would be creating a system that would be unprecedented in the U.S., so officials started looking internationally for guidance. They didn’t find much help there, either. Even countries that are friendly to marijuana users hadn’t really gone beyond decriminalization, so Washington will be pioneering with its regulated system. Possession of marijuana will be legal in Washington state next Thursday, but the process of buying and selling won’t be in place for probably another year or so. State financial experts estimate it could raise nearly $2 billion in tax revenue over the next five years. Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, urged state officials to move quickly on developing the system – perhaps faster than its original timeline. He expressed concern that drug gangs would take over the market and entrench themselves before the state has a chance to get organized. “The more time that goes on, the more we’re asking for trouble,” Kline said. Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Mike Baker, Associated Press Published:  December 1, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on December 01, 2012 at 10:17:47 PT
I need to get these. A couple of these added to my mug and cup collection will get a lot of use over the holidays. Somebody is bound to ask a question or make a remark. Even if they don't... they might think a few seconds.These might be useful.They'd get a lot of use anyway. Lots of serving and talking going on around here.I Am The Drug Policy Alliance.
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Comment #2 posted by Canis420 on December 01, 2012 at 09:39:51 PT:
These are wonderful problems to have. To sinsbility's comment, me thinks fine bud also needs to be protected from rogue hemp pollen in areas where it is cultivated.
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Comment #1 posted by sinsibility on December 01, 2012 at 08:47:55 PT:
First times a charm
There are qualified minds that will want to see a workable model develop. I don't think gangs are as much of a threat as corporations that will want to corner the market. This must evolve from a mom and pop standpoint of production and marketing. Many responsible people are ready to create a system that brings legal adult use into the light, and protects against the abuses that would be seen negatively.Probably need to be greenhouse raised with all the rain that falls in Washington. Industrial hemp will do ok over in the east outside, but fine bud will need to be protected to assure the right watering cycle.If it's done carefully and with respect for the law, I don't know how the federal gov't could interfere until an interstate commerce issue comes up.People from all states need to keep the communication pouring in to Congress that marijuana must be rescheduled from schedule 1 to at least schedule 4. The best place to start is signing the petition at the 
Drug Policy Alliance.
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