The 30-day window for marijuana business licenses applications is open in Washington. Would-be growers, processors and retailers applied on line and in-person Monday. So far the Department of Revenue reports nearly 300 completed on line applications. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins spoke with a couple of the first applicants.
At the Department of Revenue business licensing office, it was more like a trickle, not a torrent of in-person applicants on this historic day. Jeff Gilmore was among the first to apply for a license to grow legal pot after a career doing it illegally.
“The state of Washington took two years of my life for growing marijuana two decades ago,” says Gilmore.
Now Gilmore says he’s trading one risk – incarceration - for another.
“If we don’t succeed in business, then we don’t succeed in business. We don’t end up in jail,” says Gilmore.
Gilmore says it’s “about time” he has the chance to become a law-abiding, tax paying businessman. Chris Thompson though feels forced to participate. He’s a former construction worker.
“I’m 42 years old, I’ve got pins and screws all over my body, my back’s bad,” says Thompson, who's been growing medical marijuana for the past four years.
"And not only does it make me money, but I help a whole lot of people doing it," says Thompson. But Thompson fears the state will soon crackdown on the medical side of the marijuana industry, so, reluctantly, he’s decided to get licensed under Washington’s voter-approved recreational pot system.
Copyright Northwest News Network 2013.