The Department of Revenue said that by 2 p.m. it had received 299 completed online applications, and more were pouring in. Many other people applied in person. The state is accepting the applications for the next month.
Applicants are must undergo background checks, be residents of Washington state, and have their business areas inspected by the state. They also have to pay a non-refundable $250 fee for every application.
The state says it will cap the number of retail stores at 334 statewide, with 21 in Seattle, which could prompt a lottery for those licenses.
Last year voters in Washington passed Initiative 502, which made the recreational use of marijuana legal for adults over 21.