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AP PHOTOS: Bar codes, ladybugs, TLC help marijuana plants get from grow house to storefront

  • Rethinking Pot Washington Seed to Store Photo Essay-1.jpg

    In this July 1, 2014, photo, Bob Leeds, owner of Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower and processor in Seattle, inspects small "clone" plants growing under lights in Seattle. The clones will be grown into full-size plants that produce the sticky "flower" required to make potent recreational marijuana. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

  • Rethinking Pot Washington Seed to Store Photo Essay-2.jpg

    In this June 25, 2014, photo, marijuana plants at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle, grow in the foliage room, where "clone" plants that have developed roots are grown under special lights. Each plant is individually bar-coded, allowing it to be tracked by the state of Washington at every step of the growing, packaging, delivery, and purchasing process. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

  • Rethinking Pot Washington Seed to Store Photo Essay-3.jpg

    This July 8, 2014, photo shows a sign warning about the use of security cameras at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower and processor in Seattle. Multiple cameras and alarms are used to protect the high-dollar crop. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

  • Rethinking Pot Washington Seed to Store Photo Essay-4.jpg

    In this June 25, 2014, photo, a ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle. Ladybugs are used to control pests that could otherwise damage the plants. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

  • Rethinking Pot Washington Seed to Store Photo Essay-5.jpg

    In this June 25, 2014, photo, Johnnie Seitz moves a "mother" marijuana plant that was used to produce small "clone" plants at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle. Cloning from a mother plant is the first step in the process of growing marijuana for sale. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

Top Shelf Cannabis was able to open its doors to sell marijuana when Washington state's recreational pot industry finally opened for business because of growers like Sea of Green Farms.

For months leading up to the grand opening Tuesday, when Washington became the second state in the U.S. to allow recreational sales after Colorado, the employees at Sea of Green Farms have methodically nurtured the plants in a grow house in Seattle.

Associated Press photographer Ted Warren visited the facility over the past few weeks to document how the crew bar-coded each plant, enlisted ladybugs to keep pests away and harvested the plant's high-quality flowers.

Here's a photo essay following the marijuana from first planting at Sea of Green's operation to its arrival at Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham, a 95-mile drive north.

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Follow Warren on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tedswarren

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Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo