If you really know your reefer, the state of Washington may have a consulting job for you.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is seeking proposals for a consultant to assist with the implementation of the legalized recreational marijuana system enacted by voters with Initiative 502 in the November 2012 General Elections.

The deadline for submissions from prospective marijuana consultants is February 15, and the state must have a system in place to implement the initiative by December, according to the WLCB website.

Voters in Washington and Colorado have now approved the use of recreational marijuana.

The vote in Washington meant that after Dec. 6, adults 21 and older could possess an ounce of marijuana. The state also approved a “drugged driving” law, which also kicked in on that day to address drivers operating vehicles while impaired by marijuana.

The legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana in Washington will bring in $1.9 billion in new revenue over five years, the state projects. But observers say the Department of Justice may soon attempt to block full implementation of the new pot laws.

State officials have set a timeline for having a system in place by the end of this year to fully enact the new law, including establishing standards and setting up the infrastructure for retail regulation.

A Request for Proposals, posted on a Washington state website, gives requirements for the pot expert that go beyond the ability to inhale.

First, the consultant must have product and industry knowledge including how marijuana is grown, cultivated, harvested, cured and processed. The consultant must also know how:

  • Marijuana is infused into food and beverages.
  • Marijuana should be packaged, labeled, transported and sold at a retail level.
  • Wholesale and retail product should be recalled and accounted for.
  • Marijuana should be destroyed if over-produced, contaminated or recalled.

There are a few other specific requirements for the marijuana consultant. He or she must have expertise in estimating product usage and consumption, have knowledge of the “infrastructure to test marijuana to ensure product quality, content, ingredients and consumer safety considerations and have a strong understanding of state, local or federal government processes and procedures.

Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter told CNN: “Ideally, we would like one person who has all those characteristics.” A person with a criminal record would not be immediately disqualified from consideration for the contract, John Farley, procurement director with the Liquor Control Board, said in an article published on Politico.com. A pot conviction is probably fine, Farley said.

The state would prefer awarding a single contract, but Farley said the final contract may go to a team of people with expertise in each of areas needed to do the job.

About 100 people turned out last week at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center for an information session on submitting proposals, according to an article published by The News Tribune.

Terry Dean Schmidt, president of Management Concepts International of Seattle, told The News Tribune the he expects to bid for the overall contract.
“We’re going to be competitive,” Schmidt said, adding that he expects 50 people or groups to apply.

“If the state gets it right, just right, there will be worldwide acclaim,” he said. “If they get wrong, they’re a joke in Jay Leno’s monologue.”

(Photo: AP)

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