WASHINGTON: When the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) decided to license just 334 marijuana stores, it made permission to operate such a business a scarce and valuable commodity. But when the LCB received more than 2,100 applications for those 334 licenses, it did not cash in on that artificial value by auctioning them. Instead it used lotteries to winnow the field in each jurisdiction with more applications than licenses (which was most of them), saying applicants who received the lowest numbers would get first crack at qualifying. Guess what happened next.
The Kitsap Sun reports that David Comeau, who drew the second lowest number in the lottery for Bremerton, where the LCB plans to issue two retail licenses, recently sold his business, Better Buds, to C&C Shop LLC, which came in 13th, for $150,000. Comeau, whose business exists mostly on paper, will also receive 10 percent of C&C’s net monthly revenue (or $10,000 a month, if the revenue is lower than that) for as long as the company’s store is open. Since the application fee was $250, that’s a pretty good payoff. Plus Comeau was competing against just 15 other applicants for Bremerton’s two licenses. Those have to be the best odds ever in a state lottery. “We just got really, really lucky,” Comeau told the Sun. “It was absolutely like winning a real lottery.”