Cannabis Grower Buys California Town to Build Pot-Friendly Outpost
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American Green, a maker of cannabis products, is taking an unusual step to attract new customers as it capitalises on California legalising marijuana: It’s buying 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 desti- nation. The purchase includes 120 acres of land with a general store, a hotel, a school building and mineral baths. A mer i c a n Gr e e n , b a s e d in Tempe, Arizona, will use the existing structures and build new ones – powered by renewable energy – to revitalise the town, said project manager Stephen Shearin. Ideally, the outpost will spawn imitators, he said. “We thought that showing that there was a viable means of hav- ing 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 move shows how far marij u a n a h a s move d o ut o f t he shadows despite an uncertain federal policy outlook. With pot now legalised for recreational and medical use in California, Nevada and six other states, one in five American adults can con- sume the formerly taboo plant as they please. That’s created an opportunity for companies to try to make cannabis a more mainstream product. American Green plans to include a new facility to manufacture water infused with CBD, the cannabis component that is typically associated with reducing pain and inf lammation. The new Nipton will also have a production site for edible marijuana products, retail stores and artist- in-residence programmes.
The project ref lects a shift to - ward making marijuana more app e a l i ng t o a br o ader audience. This i ncludes r e achi ng beyond the stereotypical stoner aesthetic and making products with milder doses per serving size. American Green has also sought to expand sales by building a vending machine that uses biomet ric sc a nners to ensure customers are of age.