Hundreds vying for state's marijuana business licenses

Nearly 300 people completed applications, most online, to secure business licenses to either produce, process or retail marijuana, by mid-afternoon on Monday, Nov. 18, the first day applications were accepted through the Washington State Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service.

The revenue department is accepting applications on behalf of the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which will approve licensees. The liquor board should begin processing applications on Wednesday, Nov 20.

Officials with the revenue department said the first day of marijuana business licensing went smoothly, thanks to many applicants using the state’s online application process. Applicants also applied in person at 12 revenue department offices across the state.

According to statistics released by the revenue department, a total of 299 applications had been received by mid-afternoon on Nov. 18:

– 16 applications had been submitted for marijuana producers
– 62 for processors
– 70 for retailers
– 151 for both producer and processor, combined

Applicants can submit applications through the state’s Business Licensing Service until Thursday, Dec. 19. Those who plan to form a corporation or limited liability company must first establish them with the Washington Secretary of State’s office, according to revenue department officials. This is a required step before filing an application with the Business Licensing Service.

The state liquor board announced Sept. 4 that it would issue licenses for no more than 334 marijuana retail outlets statewide. Fifteen of those will be issued in Whatcom County; six in Bellingham. Should there be more applicants than available license allocations for a specific area, the board plans to use a lottery system to select licensees.

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