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Washington State Announces Marijuana License Lottery Winners


washington marijuana lotteryUnless you have been living under a rock since the 2012 Election, then you are well aware that Washington State legalized marijuana at that time. While this was a great victory for Washington’s marijuana industry, implementation of marijuana legalization in Washington State has taken awhile. Colorado started selling recreational marijuana on January 1st whereas Washington is still waiting for it’s first legal transaction.

Washington is one step closer to making that happen, as recreational marijuana license lottery winners were announced this last week. You can see who the Washington State recreational marijuana license lottery winners are at this link here. Recreational sales are important to Washington State’s marijuana industry because unlike Colorado, Washington State does not allow home cultivation. If you want recreational marijuana in Washington, you will have to visit one of the establishments that won a license. Licenses are expected to be issued to the winners in July.

A big congratulations to the winners. You are about to embark on a journey that will no doubt be full of trials, tribulations, and the high probability of rewards along the way. To the people that did not win a license, you may still have a chance to appeal. Per Northwest Cable News:

 But there are plenty of losers who feel the process wasn’t fair. Scott Zanotelli’s application for a Puyallup pot shot was disqualified for being too close to a restricted entity, like a school or park.

“We’ve looked and we’ve had people go out and look for us, and we’re not,” Zanotelli said.

“We are confident in our process. We double-checked everyone that we said no to,” said Alan Rathbun with the Liquor Control Board.

Losers in the lottery now have the opportunity to appeal. Zanotelli is considering a lawsuit, as are several others who were disqualified in the lottery.

Marijuana licenses going out is a good thing for the State of Washington. Marijuana establishments will bring much needed jobs to Washington. In addition to the marijuana establishments that won the lottery, there will also be ancillary businesses that will start to supplement the other businesses, which further creates jobs. Washington State will no doubt see a spike in tourism too, just as Colorado has. Why isn’t every state doing this?

We look forward to Oregon implementing common-sense regulations that will create jobs and generate revenue for our state. We are in a unique position to learn from both Colorado and Washington, as well as comply with the recently-released federal guidelines. Prohibition clearly is not the answer. It is time for a new approach.

Source: Oregon Cannabis Industry Association


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Hey I live in Washington state and would support any and all legislation regarding cannabis AS LONG as the same rules exist and are used in the legal retail alcohol spirits businesses too. What’s good for the alcohol business will be good for the cannabis business. Who could/would argue with this except some kind of….closet prohibitionist that prefers alcohol?? Plus when you add in the fact that the pro cannabis side “won” that Washington state election legalizing cannabis, AND TO BE FAIR TO ALL INVOLVED, should legal cannabis be treated any differently than legal alcohol like they’re doing in Pierce County Washington (where the All-KNOWING County Council has “opted out” of county wide I-502 legal cannabis sales & businesses)?? That’s what we need to be answering & taking action on right now. If the “authorities” in this state aren’t going to treat legal alcohol and legal cannabis the same, this scheme of legal, “taxed-to-the-max” cannabis hidden in some kind of shadow economy out of public view is a state-approved myth and is doomed to fail. Anyway, all who live here know how the Liquor Control Board has screwed up legal alcohol in Washington state going back further than I can remember (and I’m 60). So why would…..anyone (except tourists who don’t know such things) support….this….hair-brained, state sponsored scheme with cannabis?? Hint—– They don’t.

  2. To, Ron there is a lottery for select members of congress it’s called vote. Don’t do it blindly research the person you would vote for, and vote.

  3. There should be a lottery to select members of Congress. It would surely be an improvement.

  4. Michael Daniels on

    I am not sure this is a way to go America is based on free markets and if you have no history sell drug illegally and have the cash to set up a huge grow and buy a store front or rent one you should be allowed to go into business. All you should have to give they state is proof of residence, and a business plan.Have it approved by local board member and get a license.If while running your shop you get caught selling to minors which should be 18 not 21. The shop loses thier licensing for ever even growing any thing to do with marijauna. You send 18 year olds off to kill, they should have the right to treat themselve for PTSD. Which cannabis has been proven to stop.This should all be common sense now Colorado was a testing groun and knowing both Denver and Boulder area very , very well work with a needle exchange to combat Hep C & Aids.I have notice one great thing that as come out of all of this Heroin , Cocaine and Meth user numbers have dropped dramatically. Think about it something that cures pain and mental problems in a legal non lethal way with easy access of course people are going to drop hard drug use.In many states cannabis is a long prison sentence. If you are going to get in the same trouble for coke or meth as weed why not choose meth , coke,or heroin to try and self medicate.Common sense approach we are all adults and at a social event I personally would rather smoke dank bud then drink wine , beer or hard liquor which kills millions over the world yearly. Cannabis has not one single death in the history of man . Sure people like Nancy Grace would say this guy was smoking went he crashed his car killing people but it is stretching the truth just because cannabis shows up in a toxicology report does not mean that it had any link to cannabis because it stays in fat cells for up to a month and a half if you are really fat even longer . Nancy Grace is a joke anyway typical prosecutor, Guity , Guilty and I am sure se has driven drunk more then one occasion according to her ex freinds.

  5. Jared Abdullah Garrison on

    how hypocritical…a lottery? mock this process all you want gov’t, God has the final verdict.

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