By Chris Walsh
The Washington State Liquor Control Board will announce Tuesday that it has tentatively selected Botec Analysis Corp. to provide cannabis-related consulting services tied to the emerging recreational marijuana industry, according to information obtained by MMJ Business Daily.
Brian Smith, a spokesman for the liquor control board, would not confirm the selection but said the state will make an official announcement and provide additional details at 10 am Pacific time. A live stream of the press conference will be available on www.tvw.org.
Botec has reportedly received the initial go-ahead to provide consulting services in each of the four major areas identified by the state: product and industry knowledge, product quality standards and testing, product usage and consumption validation, and product regulation.
Little public information is available about Botec. The company, which is based in Massachusetts, has conducted studies on various issues – including substance abuse treatment and domestic violence – for several states. Mark Kleiman – a professor of public policy at the University of California in Los Angeles and co-author of the 2012 book “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know” – heads up the firm, according to an author profile on Amazon.com.
Washington had previously said it could award several contracts to different groups or individuals. In the end, however, it looks like officials determined that Botec could handle it all.
The decision is no doubt crushing to the other applicants who spent lots of time and money preparing their bids. The competition was incredibly stiff, with some of the industry’s biggest names hooking up to submit joint bids. The state received roughly 100 responses to its initial request for proposals, a huge level of interest that forced officials to push back the announcement of a winner by about two weeks.
The decision is not completely final: Botec has been named an “apparent successful proposer” and will need final approval before the contract is set in stone, per the typical process for awarding such contracts in Washington. But unless some serious challenge arises, it looks like Botec will indeed get the highly coveted contract.
The state announced earlier this year that it is seeking cannabis consultants who will provide advice and guidance to officials as they develop regulations on the production and sale of marijuana for adult use, as stipulated in the voter-approve legalization measure Initiative 502. Washington is also particularly interested in enlisting help to develop realistic market estimates, such as number of potential customers and average cannabis consumption levels.