Celebration And Angst As Pot License Application Window Opens

By Austin Jenkins

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. 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 (right) amd partner Dave Brown have applied for a license to grow legal marijuana. Photo by Austin Jenkins.“This is absolutely amazing,” said Jeff Gilmore. Gilmore was among the first to apply for a license to grow legal pot after a career doing it illegally.

Jeff Gilmore: “The state of Washington took two years of my life for growing marijuana two decades ago.”

Now Gilmore says he’s trading one risk – incarceration - for another.

Jeff Gilmore: “If we don’t succeed in business, then we don’t succeed in business. We don’t end up in jail.”

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, who’s been growing medical marijuana for the past four years.

Photo: Jeff Gilmore (right) amd partner Dave Brown have applied for a license to grow legal marijuana. Photo by Austin Jenkins.

Chris Thompson: “I’m 42 years old, I’ve got pins and screws all over my body, my back’s bad.

Chris Thompson: “And not only does it make me money, but I help a whole lot of people doing it.”

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.
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