Washington state will issue up to 52 new cannabis retail licenses under its marijuana industry social equity program.
The licenses will be issued between 2024 and mid-2032.
Legislation enabling the changes was signed into law Monday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, according to news website Axios.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) might also increase the number of cannabis retailer and producer licenses available through the social equity program based on census data and population estimates, effective every three years through mid-2032.
Those increases would require legislative approval.
In addition, the LCB will have until mid-2032 to reissue certain “licenses that were forfeited, revoked, or canceled to an applicant under the (social equity) program,” according to a summary of the legislation, including:
- Up to 100 processor licenses, beginning immediately.
- Up to 10s producer licenses, which can be issued starting in 2025.
The LCB noted in a statement that it “has held in reserve approximately 46 cannabis retail licenses that will be awarded this year to eligible applicants.”
“With Gov. Inslee’s signature, this new law will allow the LCB more flexibility to help those harmed by the War on Drugs establish their business and achieve the state goal of increasing opportunity for social equity applicants,” the LCB statement continued.