We now know which companies will soon be selling legal recreational marijuana in Washington State. The state liquor control board steadily moves towards implementing their new recreational marijuana system by announcing the winners of the lottery for marijuana retail licenses. You can see the location of where marijuana stores are likely to soon open in your area if you live in Washington.
1,174 applicants were included in the lottery for the 334 available licenses to be issued throughout the state. 47 jurisdictions didn’t require the use of the lottery but there were 75 jurisdictions with a large enough number of applicants that one was necessary.
Winning the lottery does not guarantee a license. The winner first need to prove the meet all the criteria required to qualify, such as a criminal background check. If any winner doesn’t meet the requirements their application will be withdrawn and the agency will move to the next one on the wait list.
Washington State Liquor Control Board expects to start issuing retail licenses no later than the first week of July so legal sales should begin very soon after.
Washington has been much slower than Colorado getting their recreational marijuana system off the ground but that is mainly because they are building a system completely from scratch. Colorado was able to take an existing licensed medical marijuana an expand that into the recreational market.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy