Hundreds of eager customers lined up outside of Washington’s newly licensed marijuana retailers on Tuesday to make history by participating in the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in the state. Earlier this week, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses. These businesses represent the first of 334 licenses allotted by the WSLCB for retail sales who have successfully completed the licensing process.
Early in the morning on Monday, July 7, 2014, the 24 applicants were notified via email that they were approved for a retail license. According to the recently finalized rules around state-sanctioned sales of marijuana, once approved for a license, producers and/or processors are able to file a required manifest for transporting to the licensed retail locations. Following a 24 hour quarantine period, they may begin transporting products to retail stores. After this 24 hour period, licensed marijuana retailers are then permitted to sell their inventory and enter it in to the established traceability system.
Despite the issuance of 24 new retailer licenses, only a handful of licensed marijuana retailers opened their doors for business on Tuesday. Retailers explained that this was largely due to a lack of supply. Marijuana growers in the state only received their licenses in March, which was not enough time to produce a substantial crop. Because of this supply issue, some retailers have decided to ration supplies over the next several weeks, allowing customers to buy only a fraction of what is permissible under the law.
Locations receiving licenses were selected by taking into account population, geographic dispersion and the individual applicant’s readiness to be licensed. A complete listing, including contact information of the new retail licensees, can be found online within the Public Records section of the WSLCB website.