A US marijuana company, American Green Inc., bought a small California town on Thursday with plans to turn it into a “hospitality destination”. The town, Nipton, which is near the Nevada border over three hours from Los Angeles, is 120 acres with only 20 inhabitants. The entire town cost just $5 million for the company to purchase, whose businesses include weed vending machines, apps, and a farm in Phoenix.
Nipton was founded in the gold rush and also has roots in ranching, but has been pretty empty since before the 1950s; although it does have a hotel, store, and school. American Green plan to spend 18 months and $2.5 million transforming the tiny town, and their developments will include the production of edibles, mineral baths, tourism, weed stores, and “a first-of-its-kind eco-tourism experience for conscious cannabis consumers.”
The first thing American Green plans to do in Nipton is bottle cannabis-infused water, but they also want their attractions to include “cannabis-product retail outposts, artist-in-residence programs, culinary events, and bed-and-breakfast lodging.”
American Green believe that the development will provide a “model” for revitalising small towns, and that it will hopefully add to Nipton’s appeal. The company’s president and CEO, David Gwyther, said in a statement that they are “excited to lead the charge for a true Green Rush” and that “the cannabis revolution that's going on here in the U.S. has the power to completely revitalise communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century”.
Nipton has been a ghost town since before the 1950s, disadvantaged by the fact that it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Potentially, the legalisation and popularisation of weed in California has made it possible for the town to be renewed, and will provide inspiration for similarly struggling areas. It’s more evidence of how seriously America is taking its expansion into the cannabis industry.