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A cannabis company is buying an entire town in the US – Business Insider


Nipton trading post wild west cannabis townJohn
Locher / AP

NIPTON, California — Now that one of the nation’s largest
cannabis companies has bought the 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 Thursday it would buy all 80 acres
of Nipton, including 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.”

The town’s current owner, Roxanne Lang, said the sale was still
in escrow but confirmed American Green was the buyer. She
declined to reveal the price before the sale closed but noted
that she and her husband, Gerald Freeman, now deceased, listed
the property at $5 million when they put it up for sale last
year.

Asked 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,” she finally said,
adding 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.

American Green says it plans to expand that farm and bottle and
sell cannabis-infused water from Nipton’s plentiful aquifer —
both 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.

The town has fewer than two dozen residents, and one of its 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.


Nipton hotel lodge wild west cannabis town
The
Hotel Nipton’s lodge.

AP Photo/John
Locher


“We are excited to lead the charge for a true Green Rush,” David
Gwyther, American Green’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
“The cannabis revolution that’s going on here in the US has the
power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold
did during the 19th century.”

Indeed, it was a gold rush that created Nipton in the early 1900s
when the precious metal was found nearby.

But by the time Freeman, a Los Angeles geologist who liked to
look for gold in his spare time, discovered the place in the
1950s, it was already a ghost town. Even worse, it was 60 miles
south of Las Vegas and 10 miles (16 kilometers) off the major
highway that connects that city to Los Angeles.

“I like to say it’s conveniently located in the middle of
nowhere,” Lang said jokingly.

Freeman bought the town in 1985 anyway and spent the next 30
years lovingly restoring its boutique hotel and general store,
building canvas-covered “eco cabins” and stocking them with
wood-burning stoves and swamp coolers.

The small hotel has become a popular destination for desert
aficionados and fans of the Old West, even though it’s so close
to a major rail line that moves freight between Los Angeles and
Salt Lake City that guests are handed earplugs with their room
keys.

Carl Cavaness, who works at the hotel, said on Thursday that the
sale caught him by surprise. He said he hoped the new owners
would let him and his wife stay.

“We like the quiet and solitude,” the 53-year-old handyman said.

A cannabis company is buying an entire town in the US – Business Insider

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