SEATTLE (Reuters) - A fire tore through Seattle's first legal commercial marijuana growing operation on Wednesday, destroying thousands of plants and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, fire officials and the owner said.
The early morning blaze at the Sea of Green Farms appeared to be accidental and was sparked by faulty wiring, the Seattle Fire Department said. Nobody was injured.
"It was extensive," owner Phillip Tobias said of the blaze. "It's a total loss of everything."
Washington, along with Colorado, became the first two states to sanction cannabis use for pleasure in landmark 2012 voter initiatives that ushered in networks of licensed marijuana shops. It remains illegal under federal law.
Fire officials said the blaze caused about $250,000 in damage to the facility and equipment.
Tobias said he could not yet estimate the dollar amount of destroyed product. The Washington State Liquor Control Board, the regulatory body overseeing the state's recreational marijuana businesses, was assessing the amount of damage to thousands of plants, he said.
Sea of Green Farms opened one year ago, and was the city's first legal recreational marijuana growing operation, harvesting about 35 strains for sale in retail stores across the state.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle; Editing by Ken Wills)