American Green Inc., a maker of cannabis products, is thinking outside the box in an attempt to attract new customers after California legalized marijuana. The company just bought an entire town.
The company has acquired the tiny burg of Nipton, California, for about $5 million and plans to invest as much as $2.5 million over the next 18 months to create a pot-friendly tourist destination. The purchase includes 120 acres of land with a general store, a hotel, a school building and mineral baths, reported Bloomberg.
The company plans to use the existing structures, as well as build new ones. They also intend to be powered by renewable energy, said project manager Stephen Shearin, who is hopeful the idea will lead to others imitating it.
“We thought that showing that there was a viable means of having a cannabis-friendly municipality and further making it energy independent could be a way of really inspiring folks to say, ‘Why can’t we do that here?’” he said.
“The [idea] here isn’t to create ‘Woodstock 2017,’” Shearin said. “It’s about creating an environment where people come to work and share in a community.”
Nipton, with a population of about 20, is situated in California’s San Bernardino County next to the Mojave National Preserve and just across the border from Nevada. It’s about three hours by car from Los Angeles and just an hour from Las Vegas. Temperatures soar to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months.
The former mining town already draws visitors due to its location on the road and railway between the major cities, Shearin said. He sees curiosity about weed drawing more.
Pamela Johnston, senior vice president at Electrum Partners, a cannabis industry advising and consulting firm, said restrictions on pot use and availability have limited tourism-related activities, but predicted it will be on par with other types of travel, according to Bloomberg.
“But before we blink, it will soon outpace other niche affinity travel” like wine, she said.
“The Gold Rush built this city,” Shearin said. “The Green Rush can keep it moving the way people envisioned it years ago.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)