OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state issued its first marijuana business license Wednesday, launching a new phase in the state’s ambitious effort to regulate a market that has been illegal for more than 75 years.

Sean Green, who has operated medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane and the Seattle suburb of Shoreline, proclaimed the document “beautiful” as it was handed to him at a state Liquor Control Board meeting in Olympia.

The license will allow him to grow 21,000 square feet of cannabis at his Spokane facility — the first pot that will be grown for sale under the highly taxed system approved by voters in 2012.