Did you ever wonder how much a Washington State retail marijuana license could sell for? I did, but I didn’t think I would see an asking price of $2,500,000.00!
There is currently an ad on Craigslist, dated the 3rd of May, with a title that reads: Marijuana Retail Lottery Winner. License For Sale. 2.5MM. The lottery winner remains anonymous and claims they secured a first position in a desirable county.
According to the ad, they have already secured a lease in a prime location and an excited landlord. In addition, county approvals are in place, suppliers are lined up, and there is extra retail space for a related store. The ad also mentions the store will be up and running before the sale consummates.
I also find it interesting that they claim they are trying to sell the actual license. Could it be that the Washington State Liquor Board already made this license official? Or maybe the ad should be advertising the winning lottery ranking instead? Or maybe the sale is dependent on the issuance of the official license?
Before the Washington State retail marijuana license lottery even begun, I figured that the winning licenses would be in demand and be advertised for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not a million. But $2.5 million? Granted, a lot of the initial work would already be done and the price includes extras, but its still a lot of money – especially for a business that’s not even established nor has an income!
UPDATE: I replied to the ad to verify it is legit. Turns out, the county in question is the “desirable” county of Mason. And it looks like the entire county could have 5 marijuana retails shops. $2.5 million for a retail marijuana license to operate a store in a county with a population of around 60,000 with 4 competitors?
This is not the only ad for a Washington State recreational marijuana license on Craigslist. Here is another one:
There are also ads on Craigslist which has lottery winners seeking investors or partners for their marijuana retail store:
And how about a I-502 Seattle retail lottery winner looking to buy other Seattle retail lottery winners. Say what?!
I-502 WINNER LOOKING FOR ANOTHER
So, is selling a recreational marijuana license (or a business) legal?
Hilary Bricken, cannabis attorney for Harris Moure Law Firm, has been posting some great information and advice on the firm’s blog to help guide lottery winners. According to Bricken, it is possible to purchase an I-502 lotto winners business, but it must be done carefully. For example:
- Lottery winners can add new owners and/or financiers to their existing license application before their initial interview with an LCB investigator. But once someone is on the application, they cannot be removed or changed without incurring a penalty, which for producers and processors is a six-month application processing delay.
- There is no penalty for a pre-interview addition.
- You CANNOT remove an original applicant before your cannabis business has received its license, but you can do so after that, provided that the LCB has approved of any new business owners.
According to the excerpt from Bricken’s post, it seems you could purchase – for example – the $2.5 million retail license business, if your name is added to the existing license before the interview with the Washington State Liquor Board investigator. Afterwards, the sellers name can be subtracted once you are approved as a new owner. You can read the rest of Bricken’s post here.
What do you think of the 2.5 million dollar price tag? If you had the money, would you consider purchasing the license? What is highest you would pay for a Washington State marijuana retail license?