Washington marijuana shops prep to open

GENE JOHNSON Associated Press Published:

SEATTLE -- One year and eight months after voters in Washington and Colorado stunned much of the world by legalizing marijuana, the sale of heavily regulated and taxed cannabis begins in Washington this week.

The first few stores are opening amid talk of high prices, shortages and rationing. Sales began in Colorado at the start of the year.

As many as 20 shops in Washington, out of a planned 300-plus, should receive their licenses on Monday. They could open the next day, but how many planned to remained unclear.

While Seattle had just one store ready, at least two were ready for licensing in some smaller cities, including Bellingham, Tacoma and Spokane.

Many stores were busy making final preparations in the days before stores open, preparing for crowds and trying to line up additional supply.

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