by: Lee Stoll Updated:
A strip mall manager says he'd rather let a store sit empty than rent it for a marijuana shop. The Mountlake Terrace space on 212th and 44th is where Clifford Hansen and his wife hoped to open their first business. "We would have some couch areas up in the front and then down along the side we were going to do different types of marijuana products." Said Hansen. By law, a marijuana store has to be 1,000 feet from a school, which the strip mall is. The couple had to have an address to apply for a license and listed the space on their application. When Hansen called the Realtor, he got a quick answer. "There would be no retail marijuana store allowed in this location," he was told. We talked to the Realtor Ken Walter by phone. He told us a pot shop doesn't fit with the other family-friendly tenants like a nail salon and pizza place. Walter says it's also a bad fit for the community because kids use the busy road to walk home. He told us they've turned down smoke shops and liquor stores, and are turning down four to five marijuana store applicants every month. "It would be nice to have somebody in there," said Errah Jurus, who owns a coffee shop in the strip mall, which also sells beer and wine. "It's legal now so the voters have made their choice. From a business perspective I don't think it would be a problem," she said. More than 7,000 people have applied for marijuana licenses in Washington. Only 332 licenses will be issued for retail spaces. Hansen, who has looked at store fronts in Lynnwood, says they'll have to go somewhere. "There's other locations we could use, they're just probably not as nice," he said.