Alaska is finally getting its first legal marijuana shop, two years after the state legalized recreational cannabis. Alaskan voters made marijuana legal in November 14, allowing residents of legal age to possess up to an ounce of pot outside of a home.
The appropriately-named store Herbal Outfitters in Valdez is set to have its grand opening on Saturday, at what its management says will be “high noon.” This marks the first time people can legally buy pot at a retailer, Fortune reports.
The store opening comes less than a week after Alaska’s first testing laboratory, CannTest in Anchorage, cleared regulations and opened Monday. CannTest is set to examine cannabis flowers, edible items and concentrates.
Derek Morris, Herbal Outfitters’ general manager, announced that the store will only initially carry dried cannabis flowers, as manufacturers of concentrates and edibles are still in the process of obtaining permits. There will be 10 different cannabis strains available on the store shelves.
The building where Herbal Outfitters is now located has changed hands over the years, from an ice cream shop to a tanning salon to the first official bank in Valdez. Morris said,
We were the first bank of Valdez and now we’re the first recreational marijuana store to open up in the state. We take a lot of pride in that.
He and the shop operators expect to be busy from opening until closing – people from all over Alaska have indicated that they will be making the trip to Valdez for the momentous occasion. Despite continuous protests from anti-marijuana groups, Morris is confident that business will go well, KTUU reports. “We’re confident that the community voted to keep us here the first time, once they see what they voted for, they’re not going to want to see us go,” he said.
In Fairbanks, two more marijuana shops are just about ready to open next week, after final inspections are completed.