Washington Producer Marijuana License

Does Washington Require a Marijuana Grower to Obtain a Producer License?

Yes. The provisions of Washington Initiative Measure I-502 mandate licensing for cannabis producers in the state. Under Washington state laws, cannabis producer licenses allow licensees to produce, cure, trim, harvest, dry, and package marijuana and wholesale to marijuana processor licensees and other marijuana producer license holders. As stipulated by Measure I-502, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is responsible for issuing and regulating the activities of cannabis producer licensees.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issues various cannabis license types to cannabis businesses. These include producer license, processor license, retail license, transport license, and research license. However, it does not issue any licenses bundling the cannabis producer license with any other type of cannabis license.

What Are the Different Types of Cannabis Producer Licenses in Washington?

The Washington Administrative Code Title 314 Chapter 55-075 classifies marijuana producer licenses based on the amount of space used for marijuana production. Marijuana producer licensees must adhere to the approved production space as stipulated in their operation plan.

There are three types of marijuana producer licenses in Washington based on the square footage designated as a plant canopy. These are:

  • Cannabis Producer License Tier 1 - This license is for applicants whose production space is less than 4,000 square feet
  • Cannabis Producer License Tier 2 - This license is for applicants whose production space is between 4,000 square feet and 10,000 square feet
  • Cannabis Producer License Tier 3 - This license is for applicants whose production space is between 10,000 and 30,000 square feet

Under Washington Administrative Code 314-55-075, a licensee may not grow marijuana beyond the designated square footage approved by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). Following the approval of production space, the licensee is expected to use up to 50% of the production space approved for plant canopy in their operation plan within the first year of operation. If the licensee fails to achieve this, the LCB will reduce their square footage designated to plant canopy. Similarly, if the total amount of marijuana production exceeds the maximum square feet, the LCB may reduce the licensee’s approved production square footage.

In Washington, marijuana producer licensees may produce and sell:

  • Cannabis plants, seeds, and plant tissue culture to other cannabis producers licensees
  • Immature cannabis plants or clones and cannabis seeds to members of a registered cooperative, qualifying patients, or designated providers
  • Immature cannabis plants or clones and cannabis seeds to licensed cannabis researchers

Who Can Grow Marijuana in Washington?

According to Washington Initiative Measure I-502, only licensed marijuana producers may grow marijuana commercially in the state. Per the Washington Administrative Code 314-55-075, a marijuana producer can employ adults 21 years or older who must be residents of the state. Such persons must pass a criminal history background check before working on a marijuana farm. Individuals who work on marijuana farms do not need a special permit to work.

Washington Revised Code 69.51A.040 permits qualifying patients and caregivers with medical marijuana authorization to grow medical marijuana for personal use. However, an individual can only grow four marijuana plants and no more than 15 marijuana plants for a household with multiple registered patients. Such marijuana plants must be grown out of public view.

How to Get a Marijuana Producer License in Washington

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) issues licenses for marijuana business activities in the state. Applicants for a marijuana producer license must be 21 years or older to be approved for a cannabis producer license. WAC 314-55-020 requires that all marijuana producer licenses be issued in the name of the applicant.

Per Washington Revised Code 69.50.331, marijuana licenses are issued to:

  • Washington residents who have operated business in the state for at least six months before their application
  • Any individual or organization where all members of the organization qualify individually for licensing

To apply for a cannabis producer license, an applicant must submit the following documents to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

  • Local government approval - Applicants are required to submit a local government approval from the city or county where the proposed facility will be located. Under the Washington Revised Code 69.50.331, marijuana producer facility locations must be about 1,000 feet from elementary and secondary schools, child care centers, recreation facilities, public parks, playgrounds, libraries, or public transit centers. Upon submission of the local government approval from the city or county, the LCB will notify the local government for confirmation. Typically, the council or city responds within 20 days. If there is no response from the city or county, the LCB will assume that the facility was not approved.
  • Proof of residence - As stipulated in the RCW 69.50.331, only persons that have resided in Washington for over six months may apply for cannabis producer licenses. All board members, agents, and managers who operate or co-own the facility need to provide their proof of residence.
  • Operation plan - According to Washington Administrative Code Title 314 Chapter, 55-020 applicants must submit their operation plan in the LCB recommended format. The operation plan must indicate all elements of the business operation and must also include a site floor plan.
  • Business registration documents - Per Washington regulations, only duly registered business entities may apply for a cannabis producer license.
  • Business source of funds - Washington Revised Code Title 69 § 50.331 allows the LCB to scrutinize all applicants and verify the legitimacy of the funds used in establishing their businesses.
  • Evidence of Tax Payment - Per Washington Administrative Code 314-55-020(15), applicants must submit evidence showing that they are current in their tax payment.

The license applicant will submit these documents together with a Business License Application Form provided by the Washington’s Department of Revenue and submit them via mail to:

Business Licensing Service

P.O. Box 9034

Olympia, WA 98507-9034

After that, successful applicants will receive an electronic billing statement from the Washington State Liquor and License Board requesting payment for the licensing fee. The LCB will schedule an inspection of applicants’ facilities once they confirm payment. They will then be required to pay an application fee together with an annual fee for license issuance and renewal. Cannabis producers must obtain separate licenses for each location they intend to operate.

How Much Does Marijuana Cultivation Licenses Cost in Washington?

As stipulated in Washington Administrative Code Title 314 Chapter 55-075, the application fee for a marijuana producer license is $250. This amount is exclusive of fees paid to the approved vendor for fingerprint evaluation as vendor fees vary. The annual fee for obtaining and renewing a marijuana producer license is $1,381.

Can Licensed Marijuana Producers Hold Other Cannabis Licenses in Washington?

Per Washington Administrative Code Title 314 Chapter 55-075, a licensed marijuana producer may not be interested in a marijuana retailer business. However, they may hold a marijuana processor license.

Washington Producer Marijuana License