Pubdate: Thu, 06 Mar 2014
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2014 The Arizona Republic
Author: Gene Johnson, Associated Press
Page: A2


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington state issued its first legal
marijuana business license Wednesday, launching a new phase in the
state's ambitious effort to regulate a market that has been illegal
for more than 75 years.

Sean Green, who has operated medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane
and the Seattle suburb of Shoreline, proclaimed the document
"beautiful" as it was handed to him at the state Liquor Control
Board's meeting in Olympia.

The license will allow him to grow 21,000 square feet of cannabis at
his Spokane facility - the first pot that will be grown for sale under
the highly taxed system approved by voters in 2012.

"Cannabis prohibition is over," Green declared to applause from a room
packed with his supporters. "I'm coming home with jobs, Spokane."

Sales began Jan. 1 in Colorado, the only other state to legalize the
recreational use of marijuana by adults over 21. But Colorado already
had a regulated medical marijuana system and simply began by allowing
medical dispensaries to sell recreational pot; Washington had no
regulated medical system, and had to start from the ground up.

Washington's first pot shop is expected to open in June or July. The
board expects to issue 334 retail licenses statewide.
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