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Spokane man may open first pot store in Washington

Spokane man may open first pot store in Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. - A recent e-mail lit up Scott O'Neil's eyes more than any of his future product could.

"I was just extremely happy, it's one of those things that I've been dreading or worrying about for the last couple months," O'Neil said.

O'Neil is the owner of the medical marijuana dispensary, Kouchlock Productions. That e-mail was from the Washington Liquor Control Board, confirming he was the 8th person in line to receive a retail marijuana license in Spokane. The city will only allow eight recreational pot shops.

"It was nice to get that weight off your shoulders," he said.

Now, O'Neil and others who received similar e-mails have some legal hoops to jump through. He will have to pass a background check, financial investigation, and show the board all of his business plans. O'Neil will also transition his medical dispensary into a recreational store at the same location.

"You can't have any products on site for when they do their walk-throughs," O'Neil said.

O'Neil is also a longtime friend of the state's first licensed pot grower Sean Green.

Since Green says he'll have the first product available, O'Neil could open the first recreational marijuana store in Washington.

"As soon as we get our license, we're opening the next day...or that day," O'Neil said.

The full list of lottery winners will be posted Friday. Those stores could open in early July.