A US marijuana company has just bought a small town in California with the promise of creating ‘an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination’, reports the BBC.
Tempe, AZ based American Green, the second oldest and largest marijuana company in the US, has bought the town of Nipton, CA for an estimated $5m and intends to turn it in to a destination for cannabis lovers.
That price includes 120 acres of land, school buildings, hotel, mineral baths and a general store. And American Green want to invest a further $2.5m revitalising the town to make it more tourism friendly, as well as eco-friendly. The new Nipton will have a production site for edible marijuana products, retail stores, an artist-in-residence program and a facility to manufacture CBD infused water. The new owners also intend to power the town on renewable energy, making it a green town in more ways than one.
Nipton was originally founded in the early 20th Century when gold was discovered nearby. The town, which currently has a population of around 20, sits on the border of California and Nevada, who are among the eight states where recreational marijuana use is legal. 1 in 5 Americans can now legally use the formally banned plant recreationally.
Project manager Stephen Shearin told Bloomberg.
The gold rush built this city, the green rush can keep it moving the way people envisioned it years ago. Ideally, the outpost will spawn imitators.
Small towns have had mixed reactions to marijuana, even in states where it’s legal. That’s why American Green decided to take on the project: The company wants to demonstrate the benefits cannabis can provide.
American Green president David Gwyther told Time:
The cannabis revolution that’s going on here in the US has the power to completely revitalise communities in the same way gold did during the 19th Century.
Roxanne Lang, the town’s current owner, confirmed American Green is the buyer. Unable to reveal the price before the sale closes, she did note that she and her late husband, Gerald Freeman, listed the property at $5 million when they put it up for sale last year.
When asked by Time what her husband would think of the buyers’ plans to turn Nipton into the pot paradise of the California desert, she laughed heartily:
I think he would find a lot of humor in that. As a Libertarian Freeman had no problem with people using marijuana, and as a proponent of green power he’d be all in favor of energy independence. Over the years he’d installed a solar farm himself that provides much of the tiny town’s electricity.
The town’s current residents number about 20, and one of its current major sources of revenue is the California Lottery tickets the general store sells to people who cross the state line from Nevada, because they can’t buy them there.
But there’s one thing that has yet to be decided; do they keep the town name the same, or change it to a more appropriate one?