Calling it a “gold rush mentality,” Washington state marijuana consultant Mark Kleiman predicts that thousands of people will apply for licenses to sell and produce the drug for recreational use as the state prepares to open 334 pot stores by June 1, 2014, McClatchy Newspapers report. All the privately run retail outlets will be in clear violation of the federal law that bans marijuana, but that's expected to do little to slow the number of applicants.
Now a big question is whether the feds will allow marijuana shops to accept credit cards, make deposits at banks and use armored trucks to haul their cash? If so, the U.S. could be found in violation of international treaties aimed at cracking down on drug trafficking. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will examine the clash between state and federal marijuana laws. Congress is under growing pressure to pass a law providing legal cover to anyone licensed by a state. “Washington and Colorado are in the process of issuing state licenses to commit federal felonies. That's sort of a problem,” Kleiman said. With all of the applicants expected for Washington pot stores, “I think there's a huge gold rush mentality out there,” he said.