Unless 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.