SPOKANE, Wash. - Washington state is holding a lottery this week to select more than 300 licensees across the state to run recreational marijuana shops.
In places like Spokane eight recreational pot stores are allowed but 108 people applied to run those stores, so the state is holding a city-by-city lottery to see who gets the licenses.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board started the lottery Monday and it runs through the end of the week.
It's double-blind, which means absolute anonymity for the applicants so no one gets special treatment.
The people applying still have to pass a background check, financial investigation and other requirements before any licenses are issued.
Although we won't know who gets a license for a few weeks it's an exciting time for the applicants, like Dan Magadanz, who manages "The Peaceful Choice," a local medical marijuana dispensary.
"The second recreational market in the United States is opening and nobody has anything right now. We're standing in a position where we're really excited to be one of the people that help this industry move into legitimate business," Magadanz said.
The list of licensees will be posted on May 2 and the first retail sales are expected to begin in July. However, with only a dozen producers growing cannabis right now it could take longer until any local stores open up due to low supply.
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