TACOMA, Wash. – On Monday, Washington state started accepting applications to grow, process or sell pot after voters passed I-502. Businesses have just one month to apply for a license.
At the Department of Revenue headquarters in Tumwater, state officials were busy all morning. They said 299 applicants filled out the paperwork online during the first six hours of operations. At least a half dozen or more showed up in person at the headquarters office when they opened in the morning.
"We're going to grow the finest marijuana in Washington state as I've always done," said Jeff Gilmore, one of the first potential growers to file his application at the Department of Revenue headquarters. "This is absolutely amazing."
Those who want to produce or sell pot will have to go through background checks, be residents of Washington state and will have to have their potential grow or retail areas inspected by the state. Applicants also have to pay a non-refundable $250 for every application.
There are three types of licenses: marijuana producer, marijuana processor or marijuana retailer. The state says no business can hold all three licenses and the number of retail licenses will be limited.
The licenses will be issued early next year; they will not be handed out on a first come first serve basis. The Washington Liquor Control Board will review and approved the applications.
There are three ways to apply:
- Online through the state's business licensing website - www.bls.dor.wa.gov
- By mail
- In person at any of the 12 Washington Department of Revenue offices
The deadline to apply is December 19. Any applications after that date will be returned. There is paperwork, a $250 business fee and $19 application fee.