The soon-to-be Alaska retail marijuana dispensary, High Expedition, plans to make a big name for itself. Rather than operating like a typical retail shop, it plans to become a lifestyle brand. The retail store is located in Talkeetna and plans to open on May 1.
The location is quite historic; it’s a log cabin that used to house the guide service of Ray Genet, a Denali climbing pioneer, according to ADN.com. The personality of the town will also be reflected in the design of the store. Some opponents of the shop say that the business goes against the town’s family-friendly storefront atmosphere.
The shop will be located at the far end of Main Street. The image for the store’s brand reflects a guide legend named “Pirate”. Some of Ray Genet’s personal effects will be on display including ice axes, pictures and snowsuits. Essentially, the retail marijuana store will be both a destination for marijuana but also a museum themed around Ray Genet.
Owners Joe McAneney and Dan Nelson have used the space for retail purposes already as it used to be Mountain Juice.
McAneney said, “It’s going to be a great draw to Talkeetna.”
Those opposing the retail marijuana store just say it’s the wrong place for it in the community. Some community members state that the increasing drug problem concerning heroin and meth are also concerns.
Beth Valentine, in opposition of The High Expedition, said, “I have nothing against Joe or Dan. I’m just against selling marijuana on Main Street.”
The High Expedition is banking on tourism from cruise ships to be a big revenue booster. But, where will visitors consume their marijuana since a lot of hotels have bans on marijuana use?
The Marijuana Control Board approved The High Expedition last week. It’s awaiting final approvals to be able to open on May 1. Due to the existing status of the business’s location, the retail marijuana store didn’t have to acquire local approval. Some local lawmakers wanted a public hearing regarding the issue.
Some 20 letters have been received, far after the public comment period was over, regarding their opposition of the retail marijuana store’s location. Ray Genet’s surviving family members support the opening of The High Expedition in its expected location.