Beginning today, Monday, November 18th, Washington State will begin to officially accept applications for their newly-legal recreational cannabis industry, with licenses expected to be issued by early next year. Applicants will be applying as either a processor, producer or retailer, with no one individual being allowed to participant in more than one of the three. Recreational cannabis retail outlets are expected to open by the spring.
The application process will consist of a 30-day window where entrepreneurs can apply to be part of the system; after 30 days, the application window will close indefinitely. The state is limiting the amount of cannabis grown to 2 million square feet throughout the state, and 30,000 square feet per location; the statewide limit has drawn criticism from some in the community, who fear that it’s arbitrarily low, and will lead to a shortage of cannabis towards the 2nd half of the year. Whether or not this will be the case will be seen in time; the Liquor Control Board has stated that they’ll consider adjusting the limit if it ends up being ineffective at meeting the demand.
“This is a historic first,” says Beverly Crichfield, a representative of the state’s Department of Revenue, which will be the entity that initially accepts these cannabis applications. The Department will then process the applications, and forwarded them to the Liquor Control Board for review.