Marijuana store creates chasm in Alaska tourist town

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TALKEETNA, Alaska (AP) – The presence of a marijuana retail retailer has brought about a deep divide on this quirky vacationer city, the place lots of of tourists roam the streets every day searching in artwork galleries and memento outlets housed in historic cabins.

Most of Talkeetna’s shops line the 2 lengthy blocks that make up its Primary Road, the place vacationers ? many who arrive in Alaska on cruise ships and are bused about two hours north from Anchorage ? wander into storefronts like Nagley’s Basic Retailer for ice cream or slip by way of its again door for a chilly one on the West Rib Bar and Grill.

At Principal Road’s reverse finish, close to a river park the place guests snap pictures of the continent’s largest mountain, is Talkeetna’s latest enterprise into the tourism commerce. The Excessive Expedition Co. is a nod to the wealthy mountaineering historical past of the eclectic group presupposed to be the inspiration for the Nineteen Nineties tv collection “Northern Publicity.”

Talkeetna’s first marijuana retail retailer is inflicting a rift not seen in different vacationer-dependent cities on this Libertarian-leaning state, the place marijuana had an off-the-cuff acceptance lengthy earlier than it turned authorized. However even right here, like in lots of pot-authorized states, some cities have opted out of gross sales, fearful it’d invite crime and different evils.

In Talkeetna, some store house owners – those who constructed a multimillion-greenback enterprise from the regular stream of mountain climbers who use Talkeetna as a staging level for treks up Denali – say this one store might damage the tiny city’s historic environment and hurt enterprise just like the eight or so shops that serve alcohol alongside Essential Road might by no means do.

“I do not assume he belongs in downtown Talkeetna,” Meandering Moose B&B proprietor Mike Stoltz stated.

Joe McAneney co-owns the Excessive Expedition Co., which opened in mid-Might. “The sky hasn’t fallen on Talkeetna, the solar is shining, and that is now probably the most photographed store on the town,” he stated.

Grabbing the eye of novice shutterbugs is a small “Hashish Purveyors” picket signal on the shop’s deck.

McAneney has been working to open the store almost because the day in 2014 that Alaska residents voted to legalize leisure marijuana. He and a companion purchased the cabin that was initially constructed for Ray Genet, an early Talkeetna climber and information who died in 1979 on Mount Everest. McAneney labored with…

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