STATE TO BEGIN ISSUING RETAIL POT LICENSES IN JULY
April 03, 2014
(OLYMPIA, WA) -- The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Wednesday approved a staff recommendation for a lottery that will select the apparent "successful applicants for marijuana retail licenses."
A user of the product kown sometimes as pot, loco weed or reefer. Still image from the early anti-loco weed movie called "Reefer Madness." Back then if you smoked Loco Weed you went mad (evidently).
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," said the WSLCB in a news release.
"The agency expects to begin issuing retail licenses no later than the first week of July," added the statement.
Initiative 502 directed the WSLCB to limit the number of marijuana retail stores by county. So in its rules, the agency 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 however 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
The WSLCB began pre-qualifying applicants for the lottery the weekend of Feb. 21-23, 2014.
Applicants had 30 days to return the basic documents necessary to be eligible for the lottery including verification of: their personal criminal history, their age being 21 or older, that they are Washington State residents, that their business was formed in Washington State, and that they have a location address with a right to real property.
A letter of intent to lease was acceptable to be eligible for the lottery. WSLCB licensing staff is currently reviewing pre-qualifying packets.
Initial estimates of returned packets show that despite repeated notices and reminders to applicants, roughly 25 percent did not return the required documents at all.
Of the returned packets, anywhere between 20-50 percent are incomplete, thus disqualifying them from the retail lottery.
So far the state has issued eight licenses to growers. They are:
· Cannaman Farms in Vancouver
· Downtown Cannabis Company in Pacific
· Highwater Farms in Shelton
· Nine Point Growth Industries in Bremerton
· O2 Sun in Benton City
· Sea of Green Farms in Seattle
· Farmer J’s in Spokane Valley
· Kouchlock Productions in Spokane