Politics & Government

3 extra pot stores win spots

Three more businesses have a chance at a license to open a marijuana store.

State regulators last week held a new lottery for eight applicants they had wrongly disqualified due to errors. Three of them won: applicants in Federal Way, Bremerton and Lake Stevens.

Theoretically, each of those three cities could now end up with one extra state-licensed marijuana store on top of the quota each was allocated. So Federal Way could now have up to four shops, Bremerton up to three and Lake Stevens up to two.

In reality, those numbers may not materialize. Just like the earlier lottery winners, the new ones now have to go through a rigorous process of qualifying for a state license. Many applicants still don’t have a license eight months after winning a top slot, often because they haven’t found a suitable location.

In Federal Way, winning applicant BB&B faces an even more difficult path. The city of Federal Way has a long-established moratorium that prevents state-licensed marijuana stores from opening. Co-owner Barbara Ayala said she won’t resume pursuing a state license unless the city council reconsiders its moratorium.

Applicants from Seattle, Thurston County, Enumclaw, Bellingham and Spokane scored too low in the do-over lottery to move forward, so the store quotas in those areas will remain unchanged.