At 70, retired state worker James Brown is embarking on a new career: Marijuana grower and processor.
The Olympia resident was one of a handful of people who submitted paperwork in person at the Dept. of Revenue on Monday morning, the first day that entrepreneurs could apply for a marijuana business license.
“It’s a new adventure,” said Brown, who already has financing and a construction plan in place for his pot-growing operation in Thurston County.
“We’re ready to start putting out product,” he said.
Representatives from the Liquor Control Board, Dept. of Revenue and Secretary of State’s office were on hand to answer questions people had about the application process.
They said most people appeared to be applying online — more than 50 applications were submitted online in the first hour alone.
Monday was the first day of a 30-day window to apply to become a marijuana producer, processor or retailer. There’s no limit on the number of producers or processors, but the state has capped the number of marijuana retail stores at 334.
The Liquor Control Board will begin reviewing the applications later this week. An application could be denied if the applicant has a criminal history, questionable financing or an objection from the local government.
Marijuana retail stores are expected to open in June as part of Initiative 502, which legalized pot in Washington state.
Going into the marijuana business isn’t just about money for Brown. He says it will provide supplemental income to his retirement and social security benefits. But mostly, it “gives me something to do.”
Brown, who is retired from the Dept. of Labor and Industries, said he saw the benefits of marijuana after members of his family suffered injuries in three separate car crashes.
For more about the marijuana application process, tune in to “The Impact” on TVW on Wednesday at 7 & 10 p.m. to meet a Seattle resident applying for a license and see his operation site.