When licenses are issued in February, there will be a 15-day “don’t ask, don’t tell” period where cannabis producers may obtain seeds, starts and non-flowering marijuana plants from anywhere, without question. So, many of the first pot plants that people will be smoking recreationally, and legally, next year have already been planted.
As of November 18, cannabis entrepreneurs have 30 days to submit business license applications. The Washington State Liquor Control Board will review and process applications as they are received, however, retail applications will be held until the application deadline to determine whether or not the number of applications exceed the number of licenses allotted. In which case it will be necessary to conduct a lottery to decide who gets a license.
The State legislature will convene on January 13, 2014. The liquor board is planning to lobby for three pot-related bills at that time. The first one would allow selling pot among producers, and limit hash transactions to seven grams. The second bill would allow the liquor board to employ minors to conduct stings on pot businesses, and the third bill would make a state police force out of liquor board enforcement employees.
Once the agency has approved pot-growing licenses, in February or March, the first batch of plants will reach their final destinations. The state plans to license two million square feet of recreational cannabis production-enough for 200,000 full-grown plants.
Approved pot businesses have up to a year to activate their license, but it is expected that some of the 334 shops will try to open as quickly as the first crop can be harvested and processed, in May or June.