Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 68° Clear
News >  Marijuana

Washington marijuana license requests top 800 in first week

OLYMPIA – More than 800 potential new businesses have signed up to grow, process or sell legal marijuana in the first week Washington accepted applications for its new industry.

Rick Garza, director of the state Liquor Control Board, which will award the licenses, told a legislative committee Friday about 200 applications are for retail outlets, and the state will license up to 334 stores but is limiting the licenses for each county and most cities. If the board gets fewer applications than it is allowing for the state or some communities, it could reopen the process, he said. The window for license applications currently is scheduled to close Dec. 19.

The state might not hit its targets for the number of stores or the amount of space to be planted with legal marijuana because some counties and cities have passed moratoriums or bans on marijuana licenses, Garza told the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.

The state will issue licenses regardless of local restrictions, but licensees might have to go to court to overturn a local moratorium, he said. The board has asked for a formal state attorney general’s opinion on whether cities and counties can override state regulations, but it might not be available before the Dec. 19 cutoff.

The board will also make recommendations next month on how to change the state’s medical marijuana laws, but any legislation would come through the House and Senate Health Care committees.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.