It's been a long journey for one man who applied to open a store selling pot. He learned his application was picked in the lottery.
"The weight of the world fell off my shoulders, it felt like this morning," said the owner of "Cool Buds." "I think it's all downhill from here."
The owner didn't want to be identified. He's worried about losing his current day job.
"This is a very conservative community, and frankly there are people I am associated with and friends and family, that if they knew where I was at right now would probably look upon it negatively," he said.
The owner was one of five retail applicants to be ranked in the marijuana lottery in Kennewick. Kennewick will be granted up to four retail licenses, and the top four applicants in the lottery will have the first shot.
A lottery was only needed in our area for Kennewick, Benton County and Walla Walla County. Other cities didn't have enough applicants to need a lottery, but that doesn't mean there won't be stores in spots like Richland, West Richland and Pasco.
"I feel very, very lucky to be in this position, but it did take a lot of hard work," said the owner of Cool Buds.
Hard work and money. The owner says he has spent $7,000 on his new venture since the fall, putting $2,000 down on a hopeful location alone. Potential locations are on Olympia, Kellogg, Columbia Drive and Kennewick Avenue.
The owner now waits for the Liquor Control Board to direct him to the next step. He's still shocked to see Cool Buds on the list of those selected.
"I read it four or five times to make sure I was reading it correctly," he said. I was ecstatic; it's been a long process."
A process he hopes ends in the next few months with a new business license to sell marijuana.
Possible locations for those picked by the lottery elsewhere in our area include two spots on Myra Road in Walla Walla, as well as one in College Place. There are also three in Prosser, including possible locations on Rothrock and Chardonnay.
Retail licenses could be handed out next month.