Pot shop opens near Prosser

The Bake Shop has opened to sell pot near Prosser.
The Bake Shop has opened to sell pot near Prosser. Yakima Herald-Republic

A second pot shop has opened in the Lower Yakima Valley.

The Bake Shop, owned by 24-year-old Yakima resident Pablo Gonzalez, began sales Friday on Griffin Road near the intersection of Wine Country Road, west of Prosser in unincorporated Benton County.

“It’s going great,” he said. “It’s picking up.”

The store sells marijuana buds, edibles, oils, wax and paraphernalia, Gonzalez said.

The new location brings the number of recreational marijuana retail outlets in the Yakima Valley to five. Union Gap has three. Prosser, just 4 miles to the east, has one — Altitude, which was among the first in the state to open in July 2014.

Gonzalez received his license July 10 this year from the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, charged with regulating the recreational pot industry. He resigned his position as an account manager in the Yakima office of a Grand Rapids, Mich., construction supply firm last week to focus on his business.

“It’s a new baby,” he said.

He has two other full-time employees.

Financed by bank loans and credit cards, Gonzalez spent $24,000 renovating a Griffin Road farm shop that he leases for $1,000 per month, according to his license application.

Gonzalez, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central Washington University, had only one blemish on the criminal history disclosure portion of his application. He was charged with third-degree possession of stolen property in 2012 in Ellensburg, where he lived from 2009-13. He performed community service as a result of that charge, he said.

He lived in Zillah for five years before that.

The Bake Shop has opened in a narrow geographic window where such businesses are allowed.

State voters approved legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 with the passage of Initiative 502, though recreational pot businesses face local bans in many areas, including Pasco, Yakima, Sunnyside and nearby Grandview, as well as Yakima County. After Altitude opened last year, Prosser banned any further marijuana businesses.

Benton County has no such blanket ban.

Klickitat and Kittitas counties also allow the businesses; Goldendale and Ellensburg have operating marijuana retail stores.