How does the lottery and review process for license applications work?

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If the Department of Consumer Protection (“DCP”) receives more lottery applications than the maximum number of licenses allotted for each license type or reserved for social equity applicants for each license type, applications will be selected through a lottery process. The lottery will be conducted by a third-party lottery operator.


Each license type will have two lotteries:

  1. A social equity lottery
  2. A general lottery

The social equity lottery will be conducted first and is for social equity applicants only.


The general lottery will be conducted after the conclusion of the social equity lottery and include:

  • All social equity applicants not selected in the social equity lottery
  • Applicants that were selected, but did not qualify for the social equity lottery, provided they pay the lottery fee balance
  • Non-social equity applicants

The Lottery and Review Process

  1. DCP will assign a unique application identifier to each lottery application it receives and provide the unique application identifiers to the third-party lottery operator.
  2. The third-party lottery operator will randomize and rank the applications and inform DCP which applications were selected through the lottery for the allotted number of licenses.
  3. At the time the lottery ranking occurs, the third-party operator will not know the name of the applicant associated with each unique application identifier.
  4. For the social equity lotteries, the Social Equity Council (SEC) will then review the selected applicants to ensure they meet the social equity qualifying criteria and identify for DCP the qualifying applicants DCP should review for purposes of issuing a provisional license.
  5. If a selected lottery applicant is disqualified by the SEC because it does not satisfy the social equity qualifying criteria, the lottery operator will provide the next sequentially ranked application in the SEC lottery for the SEC to review. The SEC will notify the DCP that the selected lottery application does not qualify as social equity. The disqualified applicant will be notified by the DCP and given an opportunity to pay the difference in the lottery fee to enter into the general lottery.
  6. This process will continue until the total number of social equity license opportunities have been allocated by the SEC to social equity lottery applicants, or there are no qualified social equity lottery applicants remaining. DCP will then initiate the general lottery.
  7. DCP will review the backers of applicants selected through the SEC lottery process and the general lottery for disqualifying convictions and adverse administrative findings or judicial decisions, and violations of the ownership cap.
  8. If, upon review by DCP, any lottery application is disqualified, the lottery operator may be asked to provide the next sequentially ranked application, until all available license opportunities are allocated. If a social equity applicant is denied, the next ranked applicant would be identified from the rankings of the social equity lottery and reviewed by the SEC prior to being reviewed by DCP.
  9. After the lottery selection process is complete, the third-party lottery operator and DCP will identify which applicant names are associated with the unique application identifiers selected based on the lottery ranking.

Licensing Frequently Asked Questions Licensing - Lotteries and Application Information