The question that is making the rounds in the California desert town of Nipton is that will the place be renames as Potsylvania by the new buyers? The question arises after the entire California desert town of Nipton is to be bought over by one of the U.S.’s largest cannabis companies.
An old mill town in Northern Calfornia already has the name Weed.
Including an Old West-style hotel, a handful of houses, an RV park and a coffee shop, American Green Inc. announced Thursday it is buying all 80 acres of Nipton. Transforming the town into what it calls “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination” is the aim of the company.
While confirming that American Green is the buyer, the town’s current owner, Roxanne Lang, said the sale is still in escrow. She noted that her late husband, Gerald Freeman, listed the property at $5 million when they put it up for sale last year even though she declined to reveal price before the sale closes.
She reportedly laughed heartily when asked what her husband would think of the buyers’ plans to turn Nipton into the pot paradise of the California desert.
“I think he would find a lot of humor in that,” she said. She added that as a proponent of green power he’d be all in favor of energy independence and that as a Libertarian Freeman had no problem with people using marijuana.
In joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one, American Green says it plans to sell cannabis-infused water and to expand the existing farm.
And hoping they’ll be interested in relocating to Nipton and bringing jobs with them, the buyers are also reaching out to edibles manufacturers and other pot-industry businesses.
The people in the town cross the state line from Nevada because they can’t buy California Lottery tickets there and it is this lottery tickets that is one of its major sources of revenue for the fewer than two dozen current residents of the town’.
“We are excited to lead the charge for a true Green Rush,” David Gwyther, American Green’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The cannabis revolution that’s going on here in the U.S. has the power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century.”
In the early 1900s when the precious metal was found nearby, it was a gold rush that created Nipton.
But it was already a ghost town in the 1950s when Freeman, a Los Angeles geologist who liked to look for gold in his spare time, discovered the place. Even worse is that the town is 10 miles (16 kilometers) off the major highway that connects that city to Los Angeles and is 60 miles south of Las Vegas.
“I like to say it’s conveniently located in the middle of nowhere,” jokes Lang.
Building canvas-covered “eco cabins” and stocking them with wood-burning stoves and swamp coolers, and lovingly restoring its boutique hotel and general store, Freeman spent the next 30 years doing this since he had bought the town in 1985.
Even though it’s located so close to a major rail line that moves freight between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City that guests are handed earplugs with their room keys, the small hotel has become a popular destination with desert aficionados and fans of the Old West.
(Adapted from CNBC)