Washington state has issued its first legal marijuana license, launching a new phase in the state's ambitious effort to regulate a market that has been illegal for more than 75 years.
Officials granted the first marijuana growing and processing license to Sean Green, who has previously operated medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane as well as the Seattle suburb of Shoreline.
Green is the chief executive of Spokane's Kouchlock Productions.
The state Liquor Control Board issued the license to Green at its meeting in Olympia on Wednesday, as his supporters erupted in applause.
The board is due to issue retail licenses later this spring, with sales expected to begin in June or July.
Sales began Jan. 1 in Colorado, the only other state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.