If at first you don’t succeed, pay the guys off and hope for the best. That is exactly what one Seattle ganjapreneur hopes to do in order to get his hands on one of Washington’s recreational marijuana licenses: pay someone $1 million for his golden ticket to the state’s newfound cannabis trade.
Chris McDoniel, who operates Seattle MMJ Cooperative, says that while he has enjoyed providing patients with cannabis for the past three years, he is desperate to evolve from selling weed to the sick and dying to providing it for any adult looking to catch a buzz. Unfortunately, in a lottery to determine who would hold the 21 retail licenses allocated for City of Seattle, McDoniel drew one of the 170 short straws -- number 104 -- filing his application in a veritable purgatory with the Liquor Control Board.
However, while this momentary lapse of good fortune prevented many cannabusiness plans from ever seeing the light of day, McDoniel stands by the philosophy that, well, this is America, goddamnit -- what we cannot win, we can buy! Therefore, he intends to persuade one of the state’s 21 licensees to give up their spot on the totem pole of toke by waving around $1 million. "I've got money. I've got the will. I just need somebody to step forward who wants to make a million dollars," McDoniel told KOMO News.
The state prohibits applicants from selling their licenses, but there is nothing in the regulations to prevent an owner of a retail marijuana license from selling their business. This backward approach to getting a foot in the door of the recreational marijuana market is what McDoniel hopes to accomplish. “I am willing to do whatever it takes to get a license," he said.
Now, McDoniel says the pressure is on to find someone willing to take advantage of his $1 million deal. Seattle is full of these types of creative licensing tactics, he added, especially since the state’s winning reefer retailers must have their final paperwork submitted, including store owner name and address, before the end of the month.
"We're throwing everything we have at this. We know how to do it, and we know how to do it right," said McDoniel. "We just need somebody willing to take our money, a lot of money, in exchange for a license."