Pot applications climb in Clark County as deadline nears

Number seeking to open stores in county nearly doubles over past week

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

Published:

 

The number of Clark County applicants who want to open marijuana stores nearly doubled over the past week, with Thursday's deadline rapidly approaching.

From Dec. 10 to 16, the number of retail applicants here leapt from 23 to 45.

Clark County is approved for 15 sellers total, so there will be a lottery by the Washington State Liquor Control Board to narrow down the 45 or more applicants after they are reviewed.

Update

• Previously: The Washington State Liquor Control Board began taking applications for producers, processors and sellers of marijuana on Nov. 18.

• What’s new: Applicants for sales licenses are increasing rapidly in the final weeks before the window closes Thursday.

• What’s next: After a review of the 45 or more sales applicants, the board will conduct a lottery and reduce the number to 15 approved Clark County retailers.

Some of the applicants appear to be looking at multiple locations. Companies New Vansterdam and Green Bliss each have applications for three spots in the county, Holiday Green Corporation has three applications for two spots, and Green Genes and Cannabee each have applications for two spots.

Creative names are also on the rise, with some proposed businesses called Behind The Green Door, High End Market Place and The Legal Joint.

The number of processing and growing license applicants also grew over the past week, although not as much as the retail numbers.

On Dec. 16, the board had received 44 processing and 56 grower license applications from Clark County. By Dec. 10, it had received 33 processing and 44 grower license applications.

There are no limits on the number of grower or processor licenses in the county or the state, but the board will limit retail sales operations to 334 statewide, including those in Clark County.

Through the application process, the numbers have steadily grown for all three application types.

On Dec. 3, the board had received 15 retail store, 22 processing and 30 grower license applications from Clark County. On Nov. 26, the board had received 10 retail store, 14 processing and 20 grower license applications from the county.

Statewide numbers

Statewide, the board received 2,447 applications through Dec. 16, with 513 for retail stores, 817 for processing and 1,117 for growers.

That's up from the Dec. 10 tally, which had 1,696 applications, including 323 for retail stores, 579 for processing and 794 for growers. Prior to that, on Dec. 3 there were 1,329 applications, with 231 for retail stores, 462 for processing and 636 for growers. And the first release on Nov. 26 had 929 applications, with 158 for retail stores, 327 for processing and 444 for growers.

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.

The information is available online at www.liq.wa.gov/records/frequently-requested-lists.