Four potential marijuana retailers will continue the licensing process through the Washington State Liquor Control Board after it was determined that a lottery to narrow the playing field was not needed in Klickitat County late last month.
The Liquor Control Board capped the number of pot shops statewide at 334 under Initiative 502, which legalized the recreational sale of marijuana to adults. The number of marijuana retailers per county was also capped by the Liquor Control Board.
For Klickitat County, the magic number has always been four with one marijuana retail license available for Goldendale and three “at-large” licenses available for the rest of the county.
In counties where the number of applications was greater than the number of retail licenses allowed by the Liquor Control Board, an independent, double-blind lottery was held between April 21 and 25, according to a press release by the Liquor Control Board. The Social and Economic Sciences Research Center of Washington State University and the accounting firm for Washington’s Lottery, Kraght-Snell of Seattle, produced rank-ordered lists of applicants for those areas that required lotteries.
A total of 1,174 applicants were included in the lottery. Seventy-five jurisdictions required a lottery, but Klickitat County was among the 47 that did not.
Prior to the lottery, eight applicants were listed as desiring retail licenses in Klickitat County, but Mikhail Carpenter, spokesperson for the Liquor Control Board, said that number was most likely reduced prior to the statewide lottery due to some applicants not providing all of the information required by the Liquor Control Board.
Potential marijuana retailers that will continue the application process in Klickitat County include Margie’s Pot Shop in Bingen, Esverdeado in White Salmon, Golden Dispensaries in Goldendale, and Lucky Toke in White Salmon.
According to the release, the Liquor Control Board hopes to begin issuing retail licenses by the first week of July. As of April 30, the Liquor Control Board had issued 25 licenses to grow and process marijuana.
Making it through the lottery process does not guarantee a license. The Liquor Control Board must still conduct criminal background checks, financial investigations, and ensure that retailers are not within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or other area where children gather, as specified under I-502.call 509-427-3990.