WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor Control Board has approved staff’s recommendation for a lottery that will select the apparent successful applicants for marijuana retail licenses. The independent, double-blind process will take place April 21-25, 2014, and will produce an ordered list of applicants that the agency will use to continue its retail licensing process. The agency expects to begin issuing retail licenses no later than the first week of July.
Initiative 502 directed the WSLCB to limit the number of marijuana retail stores by county. In its rules, the WSLCB limited the number of stores statewide to 334. The most populated cities within each county are allotted a maximum number of stores with the remainder at large within the county. The rules further state that if the WSLCB receives more applications for a jurisdiction than there are stores allocated the state would use a lottery process for producing a ranked order of applicants. The allocated list of stores and locations are available on the I-502 implementation section of the WSLCB website.
The agency contracted with the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center of Washington State University and the accounting firm for Washington’s Lottery, Kraght-Snell of Seattle, to independently produce rank-ordered lists of applicants in each jurisdiction where a lottery is necessary. Being identified as the apparent successful applicant is not a guarantee that the selected applicant will receive a license. There are multiple requirements for licensure such as the applicant must pass a criminal history and financial investigation as well as have a location that is not within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other area specified by Initiative 502 as places where children congregate.