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STATE OF SMALL BUSINESS

Washington's Legal-Marijuana Industry Is Officially Open for Business

Two years after legalizing pot for recreational use, the state issued the first license to a grower.

Washington State issued its first legal-marijuana business license on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, making Kouchlock Productions of Spokane the first licensed and certified grower there.

Issuing a producer/processor license to Sean Green, CEO of Kouchlock--a name that refers to being so high that a person is unable to leave the couch--marks a new phase for the Pacific Coast state. Business owners are lining up to obtain such licenses in hopes of cashing in on the potentially lucrative marijuana business

"Cannabis prohibition is over," Green said, according to the AP. "I'm coming home with jobs, Spokane." 

Under the law passed by Washington voters in the fall of 2012, Green will be allowed to grow 21,000 square feet of marijuana plants. Kouchlock Productions, however, will not be able to sell cannabis for recreational use unless it receives a retail license. The entrepreneur plans to start by growing plants to sell to other growers. 

The Washington Liquor Control Board says it has received more than 2,800 applications for producer/processor licenses. The state has yet to begin issuing retail licenses, for which it will hold a lottery later this year.

The first marijuana retail stores are expected to open in June or July; the board plans to allow 334 pot shops statewide. 

The sale of marijuana for recreational use also became legal in Colorado this year. Under federal law, however, it remains illegal. 

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IMAGE: Redux
Last updated: Mar 6, 2014

ABIGAIL TRACY

Abigail Tracy is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.




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