State lottery for marijuana retail licenses completed

PASCO, Wash. -- The Washington State Liquor Control Board has completed the next step toward granting licenses for the legal sale of marijuana. The board announced the results of its statewide license lottery Friday.

The state plans to issue 334 marijuana retail licenses. They will be allocated to cities and counties according to population size. For example, four will be awarded to applicants in Kennewick, three will be awarded to applicants in Richland, one will be awarded in West Richland and two will be awarded in the rest of Benton County.

In areas where more people applied for licenses than the number of licenses that will be granted, the state held a lottery to determine which would have the first chance to get a license. The applicants in these areas were randomly given a rank of 1, 2, 3 and so on. Then, the highest-ranked prospective sellers will be considered. For example, in Kennewick, the top four applicants will have a chance at a license.

The lottery does not actually guarantee anyone a retail license. Applicants must still pass a background check and meet financial requirements in order to receive a license. If any applicants fail one of these checks, they will lose their place in the lottery and the next-highest ranked applicant will be considered.

Also, even receiving a state license won't be enough in some jurisdictions. Successful applicants in places like Pasco, Richland and unincorporated Franklin County will not be able to sell marijuana because of local policies banning recreational pot sales.

The lottery ranked five applications for Kennewick's four licenses, three applications for Benton County's two and three for Walla Walla County's two. Richland, West Richland, Pasco, the rest of Franklin County and the city of Walla Walla did not receive enough applicants for the state to hold a lottery.

You can see the full statewide lottery results here.