Hundreds of entrepreneurs threw their hats into the Washington State recreational marijuana ring on Monday, submitting paperwork to open retail stores, cultivation sites and infused-products companies.
The state Department of Revenue said it received 299 online applications as of 2 p.m. Monday, the first day of the process. A handful of additional applications were submitted in person.
A spokeswoman told MMJ Business Daily this morning that the agency does not have an updated tally.
With a relatively low barrier to apply – a fee of just $250, vs. thousands of dollars in Colorado – it’s unclear how many of the applicants have a realistic shot at winning a business license.
Roughly half of the applicants (151) in Washington are seeking licenses that allow both cultivation and the processing of cannabis into infused products and edibles. About a third (70) are seeking permits to open retail adult-use marijuana stores. The state received another 16 applications for producer licenses and 62 for processor permits.
The interest level in Washington’s recreational cannabis program is similar to that seen in Colorado, which also legalized cannabis for adult-use and recently began the application process for business licenses. Colorado received more than 100 applications for retail stores on the first day of the application process.
In Washington, entrepreneurs now have a 30-day window to submit their applications for business licenses to the Department of Revenue, with the deadline set for Dec. 19.
The state Liquor Control Board will review all applications and start making decisions in the coming months. The first retail stores could open in late spring or early summer.