'Pot lobby' is growing in Olympia

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 11:38 PM

The apple industry has them, the fishing industry has them, the liquor industry has them, so why shouldn't the newly legal cannabis industry have them?

Lobbyists Phil Wayt and Ezra Eickmeyer were hired by the Washington Cannabis Association and the Northwest Producers and Processors Association.

They are here to keep an eye on how medical marijuana gets folded into the new system, how rules get written for major growers and small-time retailers, and much more.

Wayt came out of retirement, bringing nearly three decades of beer and wine lobbying experience to what he calls a fascinating new business sector. 

"As all lobbyists know, when regulations get drafted, rules get promulgated, laws get passed, the devil is in the details,” he said.

On Monday both men attended a senate health committee hearing for an update on regulations the liquor board is developing and for testimony on the future of medical pot dispensaries.

It’s a whole new world, they say, with plenty of work to go around.

"There are now, since the passage of 502, eight of us, so there’s a big increase in the political interest from people interested in cannabis,” said Eickmeyer.

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