Once you’ve decided you want to grow cannabis to sell for recreational use in Washington, you need to hammer out a business plan. This plan should include your financing, market analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, as well as what will separate your cannabis from the competition. If you plan on buying an existing business, learn everything you can about the company and its current processes. Take your time—there are still many unknowns in the relatively new recreational marijuana market. Study the new laws and make sure your plans fall within the bounds of the state’s rules.
STEPS TO BECOMING A MARIJUANA PRODUCER IN WASHINGTON STATE
Originally, I-502 rules dictated that all financiers must be Washington residents, living in-state for at least three months. Legislative changes have relaxed somewhat since then. It’s possible to apply to the WSLCB to accept funds from an out-of-state financier. You’ll have to submit an Application for Additional Funding to the WSLCB and receive approval. Out-of-state financiers have to be US residents.
Can I apply for a new Washington marijuana producer license?
If your business operates as a corporation, you will benefit from limited liability as well. The personal assets of shareholders who have purchased stock are usually only responsible for their own stock investments. The corporation, since it is considered its own separate business entity apart from shareholders and owners, is legally responsible for itself. Debts, etc. do not fall onto the shoulders of individuals, but rather onto the corporation as a whole, separate entity. A corporation’s corporate veil can also be pierced, so you need to take in the same considerations as with an LLC when deciding which entity is right for your cannabis business.
Nick Cihlar, co-owner of Subdued Excitement, a producing dispensary in Ferndale, said in an email that there are numerous factors to account for before growing cannabis.
With Whatcom County home to numerous producers and dispensaries, Cihlar said growing personal plants will be more about the process and enjoyment of caring for plants, rather than making it a profitable enterprise.
Legislation authorizing personal cannabis cultivation may be taken up again in 2022 or reintroduced in next biennium
Some of the aspects that need to be considered before growing plants involve spacing, lighting, watering, nutrients and especially good ventilation. For outdoor grows, some strains can require up to a hundred square feet per plant, but the House bill states plants must be out of sight and smell from the public. Cihlar said indoor grows can be stacked, but ventilation is important for healthy plants and homes.
On Feb. 22, 2021, the Washington State Legislature dropped a proposed cannabis legislation to authorize personal home grows after it met its fiscal committee cutoff deadline.
This story was originally written for another course at Western. Even though the reporter is not on The Front’s staff, it has gone through our editing process and meets our standards.