Washington State Cannabis Retail Lottery Results Trickling In. What To Do Next.

Washington State officials have been alerting retail pot store applicants and it is expected that they will conclude those notices today.  UPDATE: the notices are now all out.

In Pot-store lottery losers, winners plot next moves, Seattle Times reporter Bob Young (who does an excellent job covering the pot beat) wrote on how some are getting happy news and others are not, and how both sets of people are plotting their next moves. “A lottery was necessary because the state had 1,170 applicants who made it through initial screening vying for 334 stores.” Washington State chose the winners on a completely random basis, which is different from some states, like Nevada, where various factors are weighed in determining licensure.We extend our sympathies to those who did not draw winning numbers, particularly to those who currently run medical cannabis businesses and are now in a terrible limbo. See MMJ Now Illegal In Washington State. Yes, Washington State.

So far, fifteen of our clients have informed us that the numbers drawn for them put them in line for securing retail licenses, but it bears mentioning that having a good number does not “guarantee anyone a retail license and store yet.” As Young notes:

Applicants still must have their operations and financial plans approved and must pass criminal background checks. Then they have to build out their stores and pass final inspection before getting licensed.

If you have “won” you must now make sure that you do everything possible to position yourself to be license-worthy.

As the article notes and as we ourselves are seeing, many of those who lost are weighing their next move. Young talks about how some are looking “to see if they can make a deal with someone who won the lottery….” If you are one of those people looking to make a deal, our advice is that you be very careful. If you are going to do such a deal, it will need to pass muster with the Washington State Liquor Control Board and we have every reason to believe that a straight purchase and sale transaction will not.

According to Canna Law Blog’s own Robert McVay, others are looking to sue:

Attorney Robert McVay, whose firm specializes in advising pot entrepreneurs, said some clients — who’ve been unhappy for months about the lottery — may want to sue the state now that the “chips have fallen” unfavorably for them.

Again though, our advice is to be careful. Lawsuits are expensive, so before bringing one, you should get a good analysis of your chances of prevailing and the costs involved in pursuing it.