Local News

Pot business application deadline looms Friday

SPOKANE, Wash. - pot business apps vo

You have just 24 hours to be the first to get into the marijuana business next year as applications are due by Friday at 5 p.m.

One person hoped to open a pot retail shop at 606 W. Garland, but there's a catch: The owner of the current shop doesn't have a clue who the person trying to open a pot shop in their business is. It turns out that's a common problem in Spokane.

With the deadline looming, there are currently 33 applications for retail pot stores in Spokane County where 18 licenses are available, and 18 of those are in Spokane for just 8 spots.

However some just won't work; for example any applications to open up a pot shop in the Garland District will be thrown out because the city says you can't do it there.

In another case someone applied to sell pot at White Box Pies next to Gonzaga University. It turns out the owners of the store and property have never wanted that and say they'd never allow it. So that means another wishful thinker's application will be thrown out.

"The biggest problem is trying to find real estate," Paul Lugo at The Herbal Connection said.

Lugo owns a medical marijuana dispensary and has a location ready but he's waiting until the last second to apply.

"We've always been here for our medical patients and we want to continue to do that," he explained.

Lugo said many medical dispensaries share a similar view. He thinks the state may even grandfather them in to help grow the marijuana, especially because a new report from the RAND Corporation said the state underestimated how much pot it will need by half.

"I don't think after 4 to 5 months the state can grow one crop to support what they're talking about supporting. So they're going to have to use additional medical farmers and people I think to keep things going once they open it up. I don't think they know what they're getting into," Lugo said.

While the first application period ends Friday there will be more stores and growers needed in the years to come.