Washington State’s Legal Marijuana Shops Prepare To Open Their Doors This Week

Like Colorado before it, Washington State is now open for legal marijuana sales. With the first licenses for the first stores issued today — and a required 24-hour waiting period before sales can start — shop owners are preparing to welcome customers this week.

The first batch of licenses to sell recreational pot were emailed out this morning at 2 a.m. local time, reports NBC News. Then, 24 hours after product orders are placed, shops can official open up for business.

It sounds like it’ll be a bit confusing in these early days for shoppers to know which stores will be open and where, with about 20 shops expecting a license this week and 80 licensed growers to service those retail locations.

“Our industry is evolving,” said one licensed grower. “But it’s evolving very slowly.”

Washington ditched a prohibition on marijuana for recreational use about a year and a half ago, providing plenty of time for general confusion before sales kick off.

“It’s a mess,” says one lawyer who represents a number of hopeful marijuana retailers and growers. “People are still scrambling to get their paperwork in.”

And without all the required paperwork finished — only 18 license reviewers are sorting through thousands of applications, instead of the expected hundreds — it’s tough to get enough plants grown to sell. All that adds up to not enough supply for a great demand, which is likely to make plenty of people cranky.

If you’re expecting to waltz into a pot store this week and snag a few joints, prepare yourself. And don’t pull a Maureen Dowd, if you do get your hands on some legal Mary Jane.

Washington State’s First Legal Marijuana Shops Set to Open Amid Chaos [NBC News]