WASHINGTON: With more than 1,100 applications to grow legal marijuana in Washington, the state has no shortage of would-be entrepreneurs eager to jump into the new industry created by voters last year. But don’t expect the successful marijuana-growing businesses to feature aging hippies sporting tie-dyed shirts and vacant looks. Stringent state regulations for security, testing and tracking mean legal marijuana production will consist of more than planting a few seeds or cuttings, watching them grow and harvesting a crop in the backyard.
Some of Eastern Washington’s first marijuana crop might be grown and harvested in converted warehouses between a gravel pit and Spokane International Airport in a West Plains industrial park.
Arbormain, a Seattle-based company, plans to lease three buildings with a total of 63,000 square feet and sublease space to small growers, providing them with the external security and access to large supplies of electricity that indoor growing operations will need. Perhaps equally important to some fledgling marijuana entrepreneurs, it will be a landlord that welcomes them as tenants.
“We heard a lot of complaints from people saying they were having a hard time finding space or finding a landlord,” said Brendan Kennedy, president of Privateer Holdings, the parent company of Arbormain. “We pride ourselves in finding the holes in the marketplace.”