Consultant picked to develop Washington's marijuana market

A Massachusetts company has been selected to serve as a consultant to the Washington State Liquor Control Board as the agency moves forward in implementing Initiative 502, which last year legalized marijuana in the state and tasked the board to develop means to license and regulate its sale and production.

BOTEC Analysis Corporation of Cambridge, Mass., is the apparent successful vendor to provide technical expertise, the liquor board announced on March 19.

BOTEC is a think tank specializing in crime and drug policy and will serve as the prime contractor to the liquor board. State officials said the company was a clear winner in the bid process, scoring highest in all four categories of consulting services the agency sought in its request for proposals: product and industry knowledge, product quality standards and testing, product usage and consumption validation, and product regulation.

“This team’s lead members and subcontractors are among the world’s leading experts on marijuana and drug policy,” Liquor Board Chair Sharon Foster said, in a press release. “Their credentials speak for themselves.”

According to its bid, BOTEC has “a wealth of experts in formalized cultivation and testing, quality standards, statistical modeling, policy analyses, dynamics of illicit markets, law enforcement, drug control, drug dependency economics and rule-making. They’ve occupied prestige positions ranging from presidential advisors to a Nobel laureate.”

The BOTEC team will be led by Dr. Mark Kleiman, who teaches public policy at UCLA. According to a press release from the state liquor board, Kleiman is an expert in many aspects of criminal and drug policy, including probation and parole, incarceration, and marijuana policy. He co-authored the book: “Marijuana Legalization: What Everybody Needs to Know.”

In its bid, BOTEC Analysis Corporation listed its blended hourly rate as $292. The rate was competitive with other submitted bids. There will be a brief protest period where unsuccessful bidders can challenge, according to the liquor board, which will move simultaneously to negotiate the contract.

Additional information—including the bid from BOTEC Analysis, Inc., key team member biographies, a breakdown of the  submitted bids and other documents—is available on the I-502 Implementation section of the WSLCB website at http://www.liq.wa.gov/marijuana/I-502.

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