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The Washington State Liquor Control Board last week released the results of a lottery held to determine who gets a shot at operating a retail marijuana store in this state. The agency had allocated a total of 334 licenses to specific cities and counties across the state, and says that 75 jurisdictions required a lottery because of intense interest.

Bob Young broke the news of the lottery results, interviewing mostly unhappy applicants who did not win (and one Seattle dispensary operator excited about winning in Ocean Shores, where the lottery odds were much better). Seattle is now slated to get 21 pot shops—a number that City Attorney Pete Holmes asked state regulators to increase—and 191 qualified applicants vied for those spots. (Which is 13 more than the number I calculated in March, for the record.)

The liquor board expects to issue licenses in July, which means we could see the earliest retail marijuana stores open this August. But the majority of these stores will likely open far past August. From what I'm hearing, many—and perhaps most—lottery winners don't even have a lease at this point. A lot of them will probably want to move their locations, assuming the liquor board allows that. And then some may not clear further liquor board investigations.

With so few marijuana stores to start with, and so few licensed marijuana producers (22 as of this week), expect the starting price of legal pot to be ridiculously expensive. A year-and-a-half into this legal pot thing and I'm trying to have patience, but honestly, I'm getting a bit antsy for my weed. I'll be happy if I can score a legal gram of hash by Hempfest, but I think most cannabis consumers would do well to keep their dealer's number handy for now.

Perhaps the best news so far: Most of the top lottery winners in Seattle don't have silly stoner names, like some of the other licensed growers (Kouchlock Productions, Monkey Grass Farms, Fireweed Farms). So you're out of luck if you were hoping to buy weed at "Gringo Caliente." Below are the top 21 lottery winners in Seattle (again, full list is here).


  1. TRICHOME & CALYX CORP.
  2. GG GOURMET ENTERPRISES
  3. NECTAR GARDENS
  4. ZAP ENTERPRISES
  5. AMERICAN MARY
  6. CANNABIS CITY
  7. KC MARTIN FRANKS
  8. TARA UNLIMITED
  9. D2 INVESTMENTS
  10. SAMUEL H BURKE
  11. SUFFICIENT SYSTEMS
  12. BUD BOUQUETS
  13. KC MARTIN FRANKS
  14. GREENER SEATTLE
  15. PRAXA
  16. HL SOUTH
  17. BOYDEN INVESTMENT GROUP
  18. GUZZY LOGISTICS
  19. OCEAN GREENS
  20. MELLO TIMES, LLC
  21. DIEGO PELLICER