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State Pot License Investigators to Look for 'Hidden Ownership'

Associated Press

Pot entrepreneurs in Washington can apply for a business license beginning Monday, Nov. 18. The state now has a team of 14 license investigators ready to vet the applicants.

Becky Smith with the Washington Liquor Control Board says investigators will be sleuthing for hidden owners and out-of-state financial backers, as well as other violations of the rules.

“So we’re going to ask for bank statements. We’re going to ask for tax returns. We’re going to ask them where they received their money from and all those folks have to be from the state of Washington," she said. 

The agency will first process applications for marijuana producers and processors. There will be a lottery for the 334 marijuana retail licenses statewide. The license application window is 30 days.

Before any marijuana business can open, the state will conduct an on-site inspection. Washington voters approved legalized recreational marijuana last year.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.