PORT ANGELES — Applying for a marijuana producer, processor or retailer license — not purchasing one — is the only way a person can get a permit to legally grow, bag and sell pot in Washington state.
Licenses are not for sale, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. Nor are any available to apply for anywhere in Washington state, according to the agency.
An agency spokesperson commenting on Port Angeles businessman Dong Mai’s efforts to obtain licenses to grow and process marijuana said incorrectly last week that Mai could purchase one from other license holders, she said Monday in an email.
Peninsula Daily News published a story on Page A1 Sunday quoting her.
Julie Graham clarified her comment on Monday.
“People cannot ‘buy’ licenses from others,” she said.
“They buy an existing business from a current owner(s) and then apply to ‘assume’ the license.”
Port Angeles lawyer Craig Miller, representing Mai for a pending city conditional use permit to grow and process pot, also said Mai could buy a pot license.
“There’s a fairly lively secondary market in pot licenses these days,” Miller told Peninsula Daily News in the story.
Miller did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is reviewing a Sheriff’s Office recommendation that Mai should be charged with five counts of illegally manufacturing marijuana and five counts of unlawful use of a building for drug purposes, Class C felonies.
Mai owns five properties in the city where the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team on Dec. 8 found 3,100 plants and processed marijuana worth between $5 million and $10 million, including at the Nicholas Road address where Mai wants to legally grow and process pot.
Miller said Mai did not know the marijuana was being grown at his properties.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at email@example.com.