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Washington State Will Start Accepting Licenses For New Marijuana Stores Next Month

Washington State regulators hope to have some new marijuana stores licensed by the start of next year as they prepare to merge the medical and recreational markets.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board plans to accept applications for pot stores starting Oct. 12 for the first time since 2013.

The announcement Wednesday “marks the beginning of phase two,” cannabis board chairwoman Jane Rushford said in a statement.

In preparing for the expansion, the board said Wednesday it would immediately raise ceilings on how many plants already-licensed producers can grow. The largest farms, for example, will be able to grow up to 30,000 square feet of plant canopy, up from 21,000 square feet.

The new stores will be licensed to sell the drug for both recreational and medical use, and existing stores can apply for an endorsement to sell medical marijuana. A law passed this year is driving the changes and aims to replace existing, unregulated medical pot operations that must shut down by July. [Read more at The Olympian]

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