Not long before a recreational pot shop opens their door in Pullman

PULLMAN, WA - Monday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board issued its first marijuana retail licenses to 24-retailers across the state.

And Pullman leaders said it won't be long before there's a recreational pot shop opening its doors on the Palouse.

Rachel Dubrovin explains what obstacles marijuana retailers will face.

The city of Pullman could see its first recreational marijuana retailer open its doors within the next couple of months.

"After they're issued a license from the state, then they'll need to come to us and get what's called a change of occupancy for whatever building they're choosing to locate in," said Pullman Planning Director Pete Dickinson.

But when it comes to locations, the state has strict regulations that prohibit pot shops from opening within a thousand feet of a school, child care facility, park, or other locations frequented by minors.

"That really does limit the number of areas that they can locate," said Dickinson.

This map blacks out the areas where retailers aren't allowed. The only areas that aren't prohibited are the northern and southern ends of Grand Avenue, and some places along Bishop Boulevard. Pullman Planning Director Pete Dickinson said finding a landlord could be another obstacle for retailers.

"There's a lot of landlords that are just leery of getting involved in this, I mean it's still illegal at the federal level," said Dickinson.

This shop here on Bishop Boulevard is one of the places that could become a recreational marijuana retailer. We spoke with a local business owner about his concerns.

"Mostly I'm concerned that these businesses are going to be cash only," said Imported Car Service Owner Carl Quist. "And this is going to be a pretty big temptation for somebody to come in and attempt to rob the place."

Quist said he's worried about a marijuana retailer opening up just feet away from his store front. He said he plans to ramp-up security to keep his employees safe.

"I'm actually going to apply for a concealed carry permit for the first time in my life," said Quist. "Not that I think I'm going to need it, and I really hope I don't need it, but better to have it and not need it."

Quist said he understands the state's restrictions, but he's concerned about the consequences of the zoning limitations.

"We feel like we're going to be lumped in with nothing by pot shops," said Quist.

The state will allow Pullman a maximum of three marijuana retailers in town, and Dickinson said he fully expects to have all three of them up-and-running within the next couple of years.