Spokane will have, at most, three pot stores opening July 8 after the state’s first legal marijuana retailers get their licenses.
But that would be three times as many as Seattle.
Potential licensees who won a lottery for the chance to operate a store in the state’s largest city are lagging behind other locales in completing the steps required to open, and only one is ready for a final inspection, the state Liquor Control Board was told Wednesday. That compares with three licensees in Spokane, four in Tacoma, three in Vancouver and three in Bellingham, according to information for the board.
Two other stores in King County – one in Bellevue, another in Des Moines – also are on the list of 20 stores expected to be among the first licenses issued July 7, as are applicants in towns like Union Gap and Benge – a small unincorporated town in Adams County.
Those stores would be able to open as early as 8 a.m. the next day if they want. More stores will get final inspections, be issued licenses and be allowed to open later in July.
The higher costs of opening a store in Seattle may be making it harder for potential store owners to find a location and financing to get the required equipment needed to pass inspection, said Chris Marr, a board commissioner.