On Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board issued the first business license for the state’s upcoming recreational marijuana industry.
32-year-old Sean Green, chief executive of a company called Kouchlock Productions, was the recipient. The Liquor Control Board says Green got his license first because he submitted the very first I-502 business application.
Green currently runs two medical marijuana dispensaries, one in Spokane and another in Shoreline. He now holds a producer-processor license permitting him to grow up to 21,000 square feet of cannabis for the recreational market.
Green says he plans to begin growing 1,200 square feet of plants to supply other businesses with starting material as more licenses are issued. Eventually, Green’s operation will supply marijuana to retailers. He plans to hire between 30 to 50 workers.
Under Washington’s new system, 334 marijuana stores are expected to open statewide and are forecast to generate $51 million in total sales during their first two years. The first stores could open as soon as June or July.
Though Green plans to continue with his medical marijuana operations, Washington lawmakers are considering whether to merge the medical marijuana industry into the new recreational system.
Medical users fear that merging the two systems could reduce access to medical marijuana by limiting strain options, restricting personal production and introducing a sales tax.