As headlines go, it’s hard to top “Cannabis Grower Buys California Town to Build Pot-Friendly Outpost.”
Nipton, California – population 20 – sounds to me like something of a hell hole. It’s a mining/ranching town in the Mojave Desert – with summer temps over 100 degrees - and it’s been on the market for over a year now. Among its other charms, Nipton is the home of the Mojave Death Race. (250 mile run/bike relay. Include me out, thank you.) Anyway, if you’re like me, you’re wondering just what it means to buy a town.
“It’s sort of like buying a business, said Tony Castrignano, owner/broker of Sky Mesa Realty, who represents the owners and is also their neighbor.
“There’s two aspects to it. The land, which is worth X amount of dollars per acre. Then you have the businesses, and they generate income, so when we evaluated the sale price, we took that into consideration. Believe it or not, this town generates a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year in profit.”
The price includes abundant water, a photovoltaic solar array, a general store, hotel, recreational vehicle park, campgrounds, schoolhouse and two small houses.
“There are many profit centers generating income,” Castrignano said. “I’ve been doing this 35 years, never had an opportunity to sell an entire town. It’s exciting.” (Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Well, I would think that water might come in handy in the Mojave Desert. And I’ve always thought it would be fun to live in a converted schoolhouse. But I don’t like the heat, so I’m not disappointed that someone else scooped Nipton up.
That someone is American Green Inc., which makes cannabis products. It’s spending $5 million, and investing another $2.5 million, “to create a pot-friendly tourist destination.”
The move shows how far marijuana has moved out of the shadows despite an uncertain federal policy outlook. With pot now legalized for recreational and medical use in California, Nevada and six other states, one in five American adults can consume the formerly taboo plant as they please. That’s created an opportunity for companies to try to make cannabis a more mainstream product. (Source: Bloomberg)
Traveling to a “pot-friendly tourist destination” is considered affinity travel. Sort of like touring wine country. Or trucking up to Prince Edward Island to see where Anne of Green Gables “lived.” Guess I just don’t have a niche I’m interested in to make a vacation out of it. But if I did, I can’t imagine it would be splendor in the grass.
Seriously, roaming around a town looking for the world’s best bong store, or the tastiest marijuana brownies. In the company of a bunch of fellow oh-wowers. I think not. But maybe I’ve got it all wrong.
The project reflects a shift toward making marijuana more appealing to a broader audience. This includes reaching 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 biometric scanners to ensure customers are of age.
In addition to its commitment to push us “beyond the stereotypical stoner aesthetic”, American Green is also focused on sustainability – a double green-rush, as it were.
Unfortunately, looming on the horizon is that little killjoy, Jeff Sessions, who apparently didn’t have any fun in the 1960’s and has a real thing about pot. No friend of the Zig-Zag man, Mr. Sessions even wants to go after medical marijuana use. Guess he won’t be heading off to Nipton anytime soon.
I guess that’s one thing I have in common with the AG.