Washington state has issued the first license to grow and process recreational cannabis to Kouchlock Productions of Spokane. The license, one of over 2,800 producer license applications that the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) is currently processing, was issued today.
“This is a historic day,” said WSLCB Board Chair Sharon Foster. “The hard work and preparation this agency has done has laid the foundation to make this pioneering endeavor a success.”
The agency recently announced they were limiting cannabis business applicants to one grow each, down from an initial three-license limitation, in order to better facilitate the approval process and distribute an allotted two million square feet of grow space set to produce “40 metric tons of useable marijuana to meet demand.”
The state is approving applicants on a tiered grow system and also reduced these tiers by 30 percent, reducing 2,000, 10,000 and 30,000 square foot grows to 1,400, 7,000 and 21,000 square foot licenses.
Kouchlock Productions was approved to produce marijuana initially up to a maximum of 21,000 square feet of canopy. Recreational sales, which have begun in Colorado, are not expected to begin in Washington until the summer.
Kouchlock is owned by Sean Green, who runs medical dispensaries in North Spokane and Seattle as Pacific Northwest Medical. For now, Green has stated, he also intends to continue running his medical dispensaries.
“Hey, banks of America! Who wants our money?” Green said in regards to banks lending money to cannabis businesses. “We only need one to make it.”
In addition to the state’s implementation of a recreational cannabis system, two bills are working their way through the legislature in attempt to reconcile the state’s medical and recreational marketplaces.
Both bills, SB 5887 and HB 2149, would drastically reduce the number of plants patients can grow and repeal rights to collective grows, thus eliminating the state’s medical dispensaries (which now operate as collective grows) that do not receive recreational licenses.
In exchange, the bills propose the establishment of a medical patient registry and a tax break for patients on recreational purchases, although the state will still apply a 25 percent tax excise tax for recreational cannabis traveling from producer to processor and processor to retailer.