Weed Experts Wanted In Washington


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By Catelyn Snow

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Marijuana can be a huge cash crop for states that make wise choices.

The ultimate cash crop.
(Click to enlarge)

" Washington State's Liquor Control Board is looking for versatile employees and/or teams to look at the factors [involved in marijuana] legalization. "

Are you a motivated go-getter with an mind for marketing and a nose for Sour Diesel? 

The state of Washington may just have a job for you, as the state's legalization ofmarijuana for recreational use has created a forum for marijuana experts to offer their knowledge in the interest of building a viable, respected marijuana industry. And some of the biggest names in the business are lining up for the chance to get involved in this momentous occasion. 

Last week, at a meeting in Tacoma, WA, lawmakers from the WA Liquor Control Board held a hearing for the public, attracting cannabis enthusiasts from High Times co-founder Ed Rosenthal (to whom one young attendee remarked, "It would be my dream to smoke a bowl with you after this"), to lawyers, growers, advocates, journalists, and politicians, all with different agendas.

What they had in common was the end goal of finding a group of consultants who will recommend the best way to implement the highly-taxed legalization of recreational marijuana. It was the first serious meeting of its kind; and trust us, there were many folks who wanted to smoke a bowl with Ed. 

Safety (and Potency) First

Rose Habib, a chemist from a Missoula, Montana testing facility is excited about the future of legally researching marijuana. In a well-regulated marijuana industry, this kind of testing will be invaluable. 

Habib, along with colleagues from her lab in Montana, are just one group hoping to receive a contract with the State of Washington to research the safety and effectiveness of Washington's marijuana, and hope to serve as a sort of "marijuana FDA," who will determine whether a particular crop is healthy and/or potent enough for sale. 

This is a function that has long been missing throughout most of the medical marijuana industry, as local and state governments refuse to vouch for the safety of marijuana grown within their state for fear of repercussions. Some high-quality dispensaries choose to have their products independently tested, but this is the exception; not the rule. 

Responsible Cannabis Use

There has been a lot of criticism about California's implementation of their Medical Marijuana law (SB215), with opponents of the statute arguing that CA's Medical MJ laws are tantamount to full legalization, as it is relatively easy to receive a Doctor's Recommendation. 

However you feel about California's system, it is clear that Washington State wants their marijuana industry to be treated with the same legality as alcohol; available in reasonable quantities to consenting adults age 21 and over. The regulation of MJ will even be handled by the Liquor Control Board.

Now that I-502 (WA's Marijuana Law) has passed, along with the passage of a similar law in Colorado, it is up to the regulatory agencies within each state to properly and responsibly monitor the cultivation and distribution of MJ, so that other states can see an example of how marijuana legalization can be done responsibly while making a boatload of cash for debt-strapped states in the process. 

In order to properly regulate the industry without opening themselves up to a bunch of lawsuits, WA's Liquor Control Board is looking for versatile employees and/or teams to look at the following factors of legalization: how much marijuana should be allowed to be produced to adequately meet demand (answer: a lot), and how to control the levels of production, developing a series of regulations that handle all of the conflicting Federal, State, and Local laws. 

For these positions, the Liquor Control Board is looking for people with backgrounds in law, particularly those laws which affect the growth and distribution of marijuana. If you are a licensed lawyer with a hankering for a trip to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we may have just found the job for you, but you better get up there and apply, like, yesterday.  

Knowledge and Experience a Must

Perhaps most importantly, they want to hire someone with knowledge of both the product and the industry. This person and their team will most likely consist of at least one expert grower to oversee the development of top-shelf strains, harvesting, packaging, project infusion (cross-marketing with other products and brands -- I'm sensing the imminent return of the Twinkie) and ensuring the quality of strains brought to the consumer. 

Whomever is chosen for this position will likely be what we like to call a Grand Master Grower -- someone who not only has been growing for years for personal use, but has branched out to acting as a caregiver as well as perhaps someone who is happy to give advice and support to newer gardeners.  

Marijuana -- The Next Beer?

The Washington State Liquor (and now Marijuana) Control Board will also be looking for someone with a knowledge of marketing and the infrastructure already in place to create a vibrant and flourishing marijuana-based economy, plus the extra steps that will be needed to truly bring marijuana into the mainstream.

They will most likely follow some of the same business practices as successful beer companies, which have included not only producing products at a variety of price points, but also cultivating partnerships with media giants like the NFL and Nascar. 

Unlike beer, however, marijuana's selling points would be twofold, as it finds its niche within both the recreational substances and medicinal industries. This position is unique to marijuana, as very few other substances enjoy both an accepted recreational and therapeutic use -- it's hard to imagine morphine commercials during the Super Bowl. 

Like a good garden, business partnerships must be created and cultivated in order to truly reap the benefits. Endless possibilities lay in building business partnerships between marijuana producers and other industries (I'm thinking UFC -- they already have marijuana-advocate Joe Rogan as an announcer -- video games, restaurants and snack foods are ready-made to create partnerships with marijuana companies, and cannabis-infused snacks could easily be packaged and exported to other states once the laws catch up to the demand).

These strategies may prove to be an integral part of creating a viable, legal marijuana industry that hopefully will expand beyond the borders of Washington and Colorado once other states see the success of legalizing this immensely profitable commodity and taking those profits out of the hands of criminal enterprises like Cartels.

MMJ Pioneers: Men and Women Who Have Taught Us About Medical Marijuana

Marijuana Legalization Is Big News For Cannabis Growers

Medical Marijuana Legalization Around The World

 

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