OMAK There weren’t enough qualified marijuana retail applicants in the city or in Okanogan County at large to merit a lottery to determine who might get a business license, but four companies could receive theirs.
There was only one qualified applicant in Omak singled out last week by the state Liquor Control Board, based on the pre-screening process: Sage Shop, 903 Engh Road No. C.
In the county at-large, there were three: Hamsterdam, 303 Riverside Ave. in Winthrop; Austin Lott, 29 Horizon Flats Road Suite 8 in Winthrop, and 4USRetail, 23251 state Highway 20 in Okanogan.
There may be some snags in store for two of the applicants. Omak’s city code doesn’t allow it to issue licenses to businesses with activities illegal under federal, state or local laws, and the Winthrop Town Council recently decided to deny Lott’s appeal that would have allowed him to open a shop in an industrial zone.
Marijuana sale and consumption remains illegal under federal law, but 55.7 percent of Washington voters approved Initiative 502 to legalize the drug in 2012.
The Liquor Control Board released the results of its April 21-25 lottery last week. Seventy-five jurisdictions – counties and cities – required lotteries because the number of retail applicants exceeded the number of allotted licenses.
The state plans to grant licenses to a maximum of 334 hopeful recreational marijuana retailers across the state. Locally, that breaks down to five stores in Okanogan County, with one earmarked for Omak; three for Douglas County, with one shop in East Wenatchee; one for Ferry County at-large, and seven in Grant County, with one shop each to be located in Ephrata and Quincy and two shops for Moses Lake.
Grant County, Ephrata, Quincy and Moses Lake also didn’t have enough qualified applicants to require a lottery.
The companies selected for further screening are Brandy’s Antiques, Electric City; Rainbow Purple, Ephrata, and High Time Station, Ephrata.
Rainbow Purple is within Grant County at-large.
Six applicants were selected in Douglas County at-large. In order, they are Chronics in Rock Island; The Lid, 826 state Highway 173 Suite B in Brewster; Columbia Herbal in Waterville; The Roach, East Wenatchee; Green to Go, Wenatchee, and Holistic Healing Alternatives, Waterville.
Three applicants are listed for consideration in East Wenatchee: The Happy Crop Shoppe, Canabis Rock Island Road and Good Times Hemp.
In Ferry County, all three applicants have made it to the next round. They are Secret Herb Shop in Boyds; Mountain View Herbal, 4 Mid Mountain Road in Republic, and Weyzer Bud, 5 E. July St. in Danville.
“Being identified as the apparent successful applicant is not a guarantee that the selected applicant will receive a license,” the Liquor Control Board said.
Companies selected through the lottery to continue through the process were added to a ranked list. If applicants don’t pass the licensing process, the Liquor Control Board will withdraw the application and move to the next applicant on the list.
“They’ll still have to go through the licensing process. This is just determining the order,” spokesman Mikhail Carpenter said.
The state is processing retail applications now and expects to start issuing licenses by the first week of July.