Applicants for pot licenses increase in Clark County, state

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

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More applicants have joined the list of potential producers, processors and sellers of marijuana in Clark County.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board on Tuesday released an updated list of potential licensees across the state.

Through Dec. 3, the board received 15 retail store, 22 processing and 30 growers license applications from Clark County.

In comparison, as of Nov. 26, the board had received 10 retail store, 14 processing and 20 growers license applications from the county.

The board plans to release new applicant information every Tuesday throughout the process, which began Nov. 18 and runs through Dec. 19. The information is available online at http://www.liq.wa.gov/records/frequently-requested-lists.

At a Nov. 1 workshop in Vancouver, an official with the board said that applicants' names would be kept confidential until licenses are approved, but that's not the case, said Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesman for the board, in an email to The Columbian.

"The WSLCB has no authority to keep the names of applicants confidential (or other details for that matter) — license applications are a public record and subject to disclosure upon request," Carpenter wrote.

The board plans to release the business names and addresses online, but won't release the owner's names unless it gets a public records request.

"All of the documents, minus those that have exemptions such as financial docs, can be requested via public records," Carpenter said.

Statewide numbers

Statewide, the board received 1,329 applications through Dec. 3, with 231 for retail stores, 462 for processing and 636 for growers. That's up across the board from the Nov. 26 numbers of 929 applications, with 158 for retail stores, 327 for processing and 444 for growers.

There are no caps on the number of grower or processor licenses, but the board will limit retail sales licenses to 334 statewide, including 15 in Clark County.

Approved sellers will be determined by a lottery if the board ends up with more applicants than are allotted.

There are no other application windows planned after the Dec. 19 deadline, and board officials said they were unsure if there ever will be another one.