OLYMPIA — More than 700 people have applied for marijuana business licenses so far in the state.
There are three applications available, to grow, process or sell marijuana.
Those applying to get into the legal weed business range from farmers to former Microsoft executives, to people looking for a career change.
"I believe being first to market in this industry is going to be key," said Daniel Curylo, who has spent nearly $500,000 transforming a property in Shelton into a marijuana processing plant. It is set up to grow pot indoors and outside. There are several plants right now for medical marijuana, but he's also hoping to get one of those licenses so he can grow and process for retailers.
"We’re taking a very big risk," Curylo said. "Well, this whole venture is one big risk."
It is a risk that may be well worth it. Curylo believes he's on the ground floor of a billion-dollar industry. He's learned a lot about business while working in the tech field during the past 10 years. He was also once a professional gold prospector. Now Curylo is panning for a new and different kind of treasure. He was one of the first people to apply for a grow and processing license.
On Wednesday, investigators for the state Liquor Control Board began processing those applications.
"It’s exciting," said Jodi Murphy, an investigator, as she looked over her first application of the day. "Nobody’s ever done this before."