Three Blaine businesses, and one in Point Roberts, have been chosen to possibly receive retail marijuana licenses.
The applicants were selected through a state-conducted county-wide lottery to determine which businesses will receive one of the coveted 15 licenses allocated for Whatcom County. Of those 15 positions, six are earmarked for Bellingham, one for Ferndale, one for Lynden, and seven for the rest of the county. The Washington Liquor Control Board, which is regulating the budding industry, received 78 applications for those positions last December. On May 2, the board narrowed that number down to 42 businesses that qualified by lottery.
To qualify for a position in the lottery, applicants had to pass a rigorous criminal background check and meet other statet, county and city restrictions, including a 1,000-foot buffer between businesses and any areas where children and families gather, such as schools or parks.
On April 22, Whatcom County Council loosened some of their restrictions, including an ordinance that would require any marijuana businesses to be located 1,000 feet or more from any areas with eight or more residences.
Lottery winners are assigned a numerical rank, but businesses with a high ranking are not guaranteed a license. The current top-ranked business for Whatcom County at large is Green Stop in Maple Falls.
Three Blaine businesses are in consideration for the licenses. JJF, 2530 Peace Portal Dr., is the highest ranked of the three at No. 7. Tangletown Holdings of 4817 Alderson Rd. is ranked 10th and JRS Enterprises of 4815 Alderson Rd. is ranked 15th. The Dakota Land Company of Point Roberts is also in consideration for a license and is ranked at No. 13.
Lotteries were only held for those parts of the county where there were too many retail applications. No lotteries were held for licenses in either Ferndale or Lynden.
So far, only three retail grower/processor licenses have been issued in Whatcom County. Deepwater Botanicals on Guide Meridian Road just outside of Bellingham and Oasis Organics on Iron Street in Bellingham received their licenses on May 13. On May 22, Washington’s Finest, just north of Lynden, was awarded the third spot.
For more information visit the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s website at liq.wa.gov