Initial rankings from pot license lotteries posted

OLYMPIA — The business names and rankings from lotteries for 334 legal marijuana retail licenses were released by the state Liquor Control Board on Friday, but applicants with a high score still have other requirements they must fulfill if they are to receive the coveted documents required to open their shops this summer.

The list of 1,174 was posted after the 75 lotteries that were held April 21-25. A favorable rank in the lottery doesn’t guarantee a license. Applicants still must pass a background check and financial investigation and meet other requirements before any licenses are issued.

The first retail sales are expected to begin in July.

More than 2,000 people initially applied for licenses the state planned to issue under the recreational pot law adopted by voters in 2012. The board began prescreening the applicants in February, and of that number, 1,174 applicants were included in the lottery in 75 jurisdictions in the state.

Forty-seven jurisdictions did not require license lotteries.

The lottery results for the city of Longview have been halted until a hearing set for May 7. An applicant there, attorney Liz Hallock, sought the order, arguing the board’s reason for disqualifying one of her applications was vague.

The lotteries were double-blind to ensure security, and the board itself played no role in picking winners.

Instead, it supplied the list of prescreened applicants to Kraght-Snell, a Seattle firm that serves as the accountant for the Washington Lottery. That firm randomly assigned numbers to each applicant, and sent those numbers, without any identifying information, to Washington State University’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center.

The center randomly ordered the numbers provided by the firm, then sent those rankings back to Kraght-Snell to decode them. The lotteries were witnessed by the state treasurer’s office.

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