Special Guides » Marijuana Issue

Seed to Sale

How pot goes to market

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1 Washington licensed its first legal pot producers in March, allowing them to acquire seeds and plants with no questions asked. Once they get plants, growers must enter them into a state-approved traceability system, which assigns each plant a unique barcode and tracks it through growth, processing and sale.

2 Marijuana plants take varying amounts of time to mature, depending on strains and other variables, but need at least a few months before they can be harvested and dried.

3 Processors (who are sometimes also growers) package bud for sale at stores or turn it into edibles, concentrates or other products.

4 State rules require growers and processors to have samples of their products tested by certified labs before sending anything to stores.

5 Growers and processors cannot also sell pot directly to customers, so they sell their products to retail stores. The tracking software makes it possible to connect any given batch of edibles or extracts to the plants they came from.♦