Are you interested in starting a cannabis business in Washington ? The cannabis consultants at New Leaf can help you navigate the process!
This summary of Washington requirements and license application process outlines what it takes to win a marijuana business license. Get started today to meet the demands of consumers! Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable cannabis consultants in Washington.
Washington Cannabis Consulting & License Application Writing Experts
New Leaf Cannabis Consulting is the #1 Top Rated Cannabis Application Writing, Consulting, and Capital Fundraising one-stop-shop in the U.S. We offer a complete range of services from business model formation and planning, to state licensure, to raising capital and finding investors for the business.
New Leaf has worked with over 180 clients in over 16 different states since we opened our doors in 2015. Our success rate is well over 95% across the board. We offer more services than any of our competition.
If you need cash for your cannabis startup, and/or state and municipal license approval for a completely reasonable price, look no further than New Leaf Cannabis Consulting.
Cannabis Market Condition Overview
Business Climate and Timeline
Washington is one of the most long-standing cannabis markets in the country with over 20 years of decriminalization. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board of Licensing and Regulation and The Department of Revenue oversee licensing. Washington’s medical marijuana and recreational marijuana regulations were incorporated into one regulatory framework in July of 2016. The passage of Initiative 502 in December 2012 made Washington the first state in the U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Cannabis Patient Protection Act (RCW 69.51A), integrates the medical market with the regulated recreational market. Under the act, the Department of Health adopted rules for a medical marijuana authorization database, product compliance, and certification of medical marijuana consultants.
Real Estate & Zoning
In most states, you will need to lock down the location for business operations in the form of either a lease, lease with option to purchase, or a purchase agreement.
Most importantly, during the real estate acquisition process, your company MUST make sure that the actual location COMPLETELY adheres to state and municipal regulations regarding distance restrictions from other businesses such as a daycare or school. An example of this would be Dispensary/Retail. Most times you will not be able to locate your dispensary in a section of the city which is not zoned specifically for retail. Your dispensary location cannot be located anywhere else. Check with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for locality resolutions and ordinances.
Usually the next step is Municipal/City/Township Approval. Nine times out of ten, these steps will need to take place before the full license application can be completed and submitted.
Washington Local Zoning Ordinances
City and county zoning measures adopted since initiative 502 was approved are vary widely. Some jurisdictions have enacted total prohibition, while others have allowed cannabis businesses to operate in appropriate zoning districts.
- Retail marijuana businesses (retail zones)
- Outdoor marijuana production (agricultural zones)
- Indoor marijuana production and processing (industrial zones)
Cannabis businesses are forbidden from operating within 1000 feet of any the following:
- Elementary or secondary school
- Recreation center or facility
- Child care center
- Public park
- Public transit center
- Game arcade that allows minors
Local authorities will also be notified of all cannabis license applications and are given the opportunity to file objections. Cities, towns, and counties in Washington State can choose to opt out of the state’s cannabis program and or to designate appropriate zones for marijuana businesses. The LCB has final authority over whether to grant or deny the license to operate in Washington State.
Laws and Regulations
As you get started, read up on Washington’s laws, rules, and regulations. The primary statutes for recreational marijuana are codified in chapter 69.50 RCW, the medical marijuana statutes are located in chapter 69.51A RCW. The Liquor and Cannabis Board regulations for marijuana are found in chapter 314-55 WAC.
Indoor cannabis grows must take place within a fully enclosed, secure indoor facility or greenhouse with rigid walls, a roof, and doors. Outdoor producers may grow cannabis in “non-rigid greenhouses, other structures, or an expanse of open or clear ground fully enclosed by a physical barrier.” Outdoor cannabis grows must be enclosed by a “sight obscure” wall or fence at least eight feet high.