Saturday, March 30, 2013

Meet Washington's new pot consultant

Posted By on Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Well, if you were starting to feel hopeful that all the issues surrounding Washington's new marijuana market were being untangled, think again.

In the interview below with TVW, a public affairs network that covers state government, Washington's new marijuana consultant, Mark Kleiman, explains everything from his expectations for pot demand to his concerns about the state enabling drug addiction.

Kleiman and a team of about 40 other people — mostly academics and drug policy experts from his BOTEC Analysis Corporation— will be advising the Liquor Control Board about regulations it is expected to set this year for the state's new recreational marijuana market.

For one, the new market may not be the windfall some are expecting. Kleiman says widely cited estimates pot licensing and taxes could bring the state $450 million in revenue are wishful thinking. He believes it'll be more like 40 percent of that, or $180 million a year.

But the biggest challenge he foresees, like most people anxiously watching this process, is whether Washington can regulate pot and still keep prices competitive. On that, he's not sure.

Here's the full interview:

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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...