Washington State’s Marijuana License Lottery Will Not Pause For Appeals

WASHINGTON: A judge Wednesday refused to halt the state government’s lottery for licenses to operate marijuana stores.

The state Liquor Control Board is holding lotteries for each part of the state where there’s competition for a limited number of retail licenses. The winners were chosen last week. The board expects to announce them by Friday, then start considering the winning applicants for 334 licenses.

On the outside looking in: hundreds of applicants who learned days before the lottery they had been disqualified.

Two of them, Angel Swanson and Mark Dixon, asked Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy to stop the release of names of winners in their parts of Pierce and Skagit counties while they appeal their disqualifications. She declined.

“I recognize that there are very serious rights at issue here,” Murphy said, “and my denial is based in part on the state’s representation that there very well may be a remedy that would be adequate to the applicants who are successful in their administrative appeals.”