High hopes for ghost town

Cannabis com­pany to turn desert town into pot par­adise

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JOHN LOCHER AND JOHN ROGERS NIPTON, CALIF. — The As­so­ci­ated Press with files from Bloomberg

Now that one of the na­tion’s largest cannabis com­pa­nies has bought the en­tire Cal­i­for­nia desert town of Nipton, a ques­tion re­mains: Will the new own­ers re­name the place Pot­syl­va­nia?

The name Weed al­ready be­longs to an old mill town in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Amer­i­can Green Inc. an­nounced this week it is buy­ing all 80 acres of Nipton, which in­cludes its Old West-style ho­tel, a hand­ful of houses, an RV park and a cof­fee shop. Its plans are to trans­form the old Gold Rush town into what it calls “an en­ergy-in­de­pen­dent, cannabis-friendly hospi­tal­ity des­ti­na­tion.”

Amer­i­can Green says it plans to ex­pand that farm and also bot­tle and sell cannabis-in­fused wa­ter from Nipton’s plen­ti­ful aquifer, joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one.

The buy­ers are also reach­ing out to ed­i­bles man­u­fac­tur­ers and other pot-in­dus­try busi­nesses, hop­ing they’ll be in­ter­ested in re­lo­cat­ing to Nipton and bring­ing jobs with them.

Ide­ally, the out­post will spawn im­i­ta­tors, said Stephen Shearin, project man­ager for Amer­i­can Green. “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?’”

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.

JOHN LOCHER, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Amer­i­can Green Inc., one of the largest cannabis com­pa­nies in the U.S., said it has bought the en­tire 80-acre town of Nipton, Calif.

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