More than 6,600 pot business applications in Wash.



Posted on January 7, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 8:02 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Officials have processed more than 6,600 marijuana business license applications in Washington state, and they still have more to go.
The state Liquor Control Board issued updated figures Tuesday regarding the applications to grow, process and sell pot under Washington's legal marijuana law, passed by voters in 2012. The total so far: 6,619.
Some 2,666 of those are growing license applications, and 1,918 are processing applications.
The board at least initially is limiting the number of stores to 334 statewide. There have been 2,035 retail applications received, which means there could be lotteries for those licenses in many areas.
Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter says some incomplete applications are still being processed. Officials are working with those applicants to finish them.
The one-month window for submitting applications closed Dec. 20.

Those who provide medical marijuana are following the process for making and selling recreational marijuana closely. They want to make sure it does not force them to change their operation and worry Washington State may not be able to supply the demand when recreational pot is available.

Some people do not think enough other people will grow the drug fast enough to keep up with the market.

“If Washington thinks that they can grow a massive crop in a matter of four months and they haven't even started yet, it's insane,” said Paul Lugo with Herbal Connection.

More than 200 applications were submitted in Spokane County to grow, about 150 to process and another 150 to sell.

Authorities said this will most likely end in a lottery to determine who gets to sell the drug in the Spokane area and across the state.

"It is very hard to find space where people will actually lease to you, not just because it's legal but will they lease to you in the designated areas,” said Lugo.

Staff at medical dispensaries said some of the applicants may get a license before they find a spot to setup their business. It is just one of the many concerns those watching the process closely have about trying to sell marijuana legally.

"It's a never ending process, it's going to be an interesting year and hopefully it's less stressful than last year,” said Lugo.