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Window to apply for recreational marijuana business licenses opens Nov. 18

Washington businesses and individuals may start applying for recreational marijuana business licenses at 8 a.m. on Nov. 18. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. All complete business license applications filed at any point in this window will be considered.

There are three ways to apply:

State of Washington, Business Licensing Service

PO Box 9034

Olympia, WA 98507-9034

The application materials will not be available online or in offices until 8 a.m. on Nov. 18.

Washington voters approved Initiative 502 in November 2012, legalizing the production, sale and use of recreational marijuana. Revenue provides the initial licensing service for state business licenses and forwards the license application to the Liquor Control Board (LCB), which will review and approve applications for the three recreational marijuana endorsements.

Revenue encourages applicants to apply online.

“The easiest and most flexible way to apply for a business license is through the online application,” said Kimberly Eastman, manager of the Business Licensing Service. “There’s no travel time or waiting in line at an office, and there are far more payment options available than if you file in person or mail in your paperwork.”

Those who plan to form a corporation or limited liability company must first establish their corporation with the Secretary of State’s office. This is a necessary step before filing an application with the Business Licensing Service. Revenue suggests businesses take this step ahead of Nov. 18.

More details about applying for a marijuana business license – including the nonrefundable fees – are on Revenue’s website at http://bls.dor.wa.gov/marijuana.aspx. Visit the Liquor Control Board’s website for I-502 implementation information: http://liq.wa.gov/marijuana/I-502. The Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance provides a useful reference guide for those interested in starting a business in Washington: http://www.ora.wa.gov/documents/small_business/sbg_start.pdf.

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