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SEATTLE -- Washington state has tentatively chosen a Massachusetts-based firm led by a University of California, Los Angeles, professor to be its official marijuana consultant.

Botec Analysis Corp. is based in Cambridge, Mass., and has evaluated government programs and provided consulting relating to drug abuse, crime and public health. If the award of the contract is finalized, Botec will advise Washington state officials as they develop rules for the state's new industry in legal, taxed marijuana.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board scheduled an announcement on the award of the contract for Tuesday morning, but it sent an email to losing bidders Monday alerting them to the winner. A copy of the email was provided to The Associated Press.

Botec is headed by Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at UCLA.

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