Implementation of cannabis legalization in Washington has been a long time coming. Washington State legalized cannabis in November 2012, but has yet to make its first recreational sale. Colorado started selling legal recreational marijuana January first of this year. The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently announced lottery winners for recreational store licenses.
At least 35 cannabis growers have already been issued their licenses, and about the same amount of licenses have been issued for cannabis processors. That is a very small number when you consider the fact that there were over 7,000 applications total. So what's the hold up?
From the The News Tribune:
A much larger group, more than 2,200, are still under investigation. And another 640 applications haven't yet been assigned to an investigator. They are sitting in a queue waiting for a spot to open up on an investigator's docket. The liquor board received an update from staff this week on the latest numbers. Eighteen investigators are doing the vetting, each handling more than 120 cases.
While dozens of marijuana licenses is progress for Washington State, there is still a lot of work to be done. Hopefully, Washington State meets its goal of making its first legal adult commercial sale by July. That way the cannabis industry in Washington can get off the ground, and flourish. Washington, like most states, needs the jobs that come with a booming cannabis industry, as well as the tax revenue it will generate. It will be great to see another state join Colorado in legalizing cannabis commerce and then another and another until the rest of the United States soon follows suit. The sooner the United States ends its War on Cannabis, the sooner a true global cannabis industry can prosper.