Groups waiting to cash in on pot sales in Washington - KPTV - FOX 12

Groups waiting to cash in on pot sales in Washington

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SPOKANE, WA (KPTV/AP -

You're allowed to smoke marijuana for recreation in Washington state, but you can't sell it -- at least, not yet.

About 450 people attended a Tuesday night forum in Spokane on drafting rules for the sale of recreational marijuana in Washington.

It was the fourth of a series of forums the Liquor Control Board is holding as it prepares to start selling the drug by the end of the year.

The Spokesman-Review reports the crowd was clearly supportive of marijuana sales, although some were concerned about corporate control and advertising.

Some objected to too much bureaucratic red tape in a state system of marijuana production, distribution and sale. Some said sheriffs should stand up to federal law enforcement if it conflicts with state law.

If the selling of marijuana does become legal, profits could soar sky high. Brendan Kennedy and Michael Blue, who met at Yale Business School, have created what is believed to be the first private equity firm of its kind -- focused solely on cannabis.

They acquired the company leafly.com about one year ago, and they describe it as a help site for medical marijuana, with 300,000 dispensaries around the state and the world listed on the site.

Patients can log on to find certain types of the plant, and write reviews on the places they buy it from.

"It's just like the end of alcohol prohibition. I feel like it's 1995 and I'm telling people there's going to be this thing called the Internet," Kennedy said.

When retail pot stores open, Kennedy and Blue plan to expand the site for the recreational user and invest millions in professional mainstream brands, which could grow to a $9 billion business by 2016.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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