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

In this July 8, 2014, photo, the final step of the lengthy marijuana growing operation takes place as Bob Leeds, left, owner of Sea of Green Farms, hands boxes containing packaged recreational marijuana to Tom Beckley, right, the owner of Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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In this July 8, 2014, photo, the final step of the lengthy marijuana growing operation takes place as Bob Leeds, left, owner of Sea of Green Farms, hands boxes containing packaged recreational marijuana to Tom Beckley, right, the owner of Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - 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

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