SEATTLE, Wash. -

Washington state has issued its first retail marijuana licenses.

A year and eight months after the state's voters legalized the drug for adults over 21, the first soon-to-be pot shops received emails before 2 a.m. PDT Monday giving them official word that they'd be able to open for business on Tuesday if they're ready.

Among them is just one store in Seattle, Cannabis City. Owner James Lathrop plans to open his doors at noon on Tuesday.

The state started licensing legal pot growers in March, but only about a dozen have product ready for shipping to the newly licensed stores. Big crowds, high prices and shortages are expected for the historic first sales.

Marijuana sales began in January in Colorado, the only other state that has legalized marijuana.