Is This California Desert Town A Future Marijuana Resort?
American Green Inc., one of the first and largest publicly-traded cannabis product companies in the country, is planning to open a marijuana resort in the California desert.
The former gold rush town of Nipton, California, sits 60 miles south of Las Vegas and 10 miles from the 15 freeway. In 1984, Gerald Freeman, a former geologist from Los Angeles, bought the town (yes, all 80 acres of it, for a reported $200,000), and began turning it into a sort of eco-resort. He and wife Roxanne Lang spent over $1 million restoring the town's general store and hotel, building canvas eco-cabins, and even constructing a solar farm to make Nipton largely energy independent.
On Thursday, American Green announced that they are in escrow on the town as part of a 120-acre purchase in the area. The sum was undisclosed, but Freeman and Lang (before Freeman's recent death) had listed Nipton for sale last year at $5 million. According to the Associated Press, the cannabis company purchased the land to turn Nipton into “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.”
“I think he would find a lot of humor in that,” Lang recently told the AP, noting that Freeman was a Libertarian who supported marijuana legalization and green energy.
As reported by Fortune, American Green plans to begin selling bottled water from the town's aquifer infused with CBD [or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis that some studies claim has anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties]. American Green also plans to build out the solar farm, offer CBD and mineral baths, and turn the town into a hub for new cannabis products.
"The Cannabis Revolution that's going on here in the U.S., has the power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century," David Gwyther, chairman and president of American Green, said in a statement. "This acquisition allows us to channel the myriad interests in cannabis production and consumption for an immediate positive impact to this community's members and to cannabis consumers across the country."
The AP adds that American Green is reaching out to other cannabis product firms trying to relocate them to Nipton.
“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?’” Stephen Shearin, American Green's project manager for Nipton, told Bloomberg. “The Gold Rush built this city. The Green Rush can keep it moving the way people envisioned it years ago.”
Meanwhile, the state of California is getting regulations in place for recreational cannabis use ahead of the January 2018 deadline. The $7 billion industry is expected to generate $1 billion in taxes for the state in 2018.