Retail pot license lottery results out; local bans could get in the way

Retail pot license lottery results out; local bans could get in the way »Play Video

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Legal pot shop owner wannabes found out Friday if they'll actually get the chance. Results of the state Liquor Control Board's lottery for retail licenses went public . KIMA spoke with one applicant who wasn't so lucky.

Duk Chang owns a local smoke shop in Ellensburg. He applied to the state for a retail license to sell marijuana. Eight applicants made it past the initial screening process in Ellensburg. Only two would be picked, and Duk wasn't one of them.

"Not happy," he said. "Not happy."

Duk planned to set up his pot shop right next door to his smoke shop, in a space now used for storage. Those plans are now on hold.

Duk was surprised there were so many local applicants.

"I don't know why too many people joined. I don't understand."

A sentiment perhaps shared by other hopefuls, whose dreams of green went up in smoke.

Of the seven eligible applicants in Yakima, only five can get licenses. Six applicants in at-large areas of Yakima County could also get licenses. No lotteries were held in Sunnyside, Selah or Grandview because there were fewer applicants than there were licenses.
Still, a win doesn't guarantee a license. Yakima has banned all pot businesses. Yakima County and Union Gap are on their way.

Winners must also complete the application process, including criminal and financial background checks and an on-site inspection.

Duk's holding out hope, in case the six people ahead of him in the lottery ranking don't make it through the process.

"I'm seven," he said. "But, some people reject them. So, if coming my chance, I'm going to try that."

The Liquor Control Board says the list of applicants will be closed once licenses are issued. The state could hold another lottery in the future.

For the complete lottery results, click here.