TIME Drugs

Washington State Issues First License to Grow Recreational Pot

A marijuana leaf is displayed at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle
A marijuana leaf is displayed at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, November 27, 2012. Anthony Bolante—Reuteres

Producers will get the green light first so stores have something to sell when they open

Washington state’s experiment with recreational marijuana hit a milestone Wednesday when the agency tasked with regulating the new legal market issued the first business license.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board officially gave the green light to a Spokane-based company called Kouchlock Productions that can now grow the green stuff on up to 21,000 square feet of land. It’s the first of thousands of applications on which the board will make a decision. Officials have been interviewing applicants and investigating properties since the applications started pouring in during a month-long window in November.

“This is a historic day,” board chair Sharon Foster said in a statement. “The hard work and preparation this agency has done has laid the foundation to make this pioneering endeavor a success.”

Businesses can apply to produce, process or sell pot in a retail shop. Producer licenses are being issued first so that stores will have products to sell when they open up, likely sometime this spring.

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