Green Zone received approval to open from the Kotzebue regulatory board. Following a name change and location change, owner Justin An is happy to be opening soon in the ocean-view town.
The original location was on Shore Avenue, where families tend to spend a lot of time, Alaska Public Media says. Much of the feedback was just concerns about how a retail marijuana store would impact the local neighborhood. The regulatory structure in Alaska has made it difficult for An to get the retail store up and running.
Regarding the initial location, An said, “The public, they don’t want any marijuana shop on that street because the shore has a nice ocean view, the people are jogging, kids are playing, and the community said they don’t want to see the marijuana shop on front street.”
An said, “I’m not a smoker, but marijuana is a new business, a challenging business people have never done before. I’ve been selling liquor in Nome for 12 years, so I just wanted to try to do something different.”