Kotzebue as observed from the road east of town (Photo: Zachariah Hughes – Alaska Public Media, Kotzebue)

The city of Kotzebue has authorized the town’s second retail marijuana shop. On Wednesday, the neighborhood regulatory board gave the OK for small business owner Justin An to open up Green Zone, down the street from the city’s very first dispensary, Alaskan Grown Cannabis.

This is the second time An’s application for a retail marijuana shop has been up for overview. He says initially, the shop was named Hot Pot and positioned in a prominent Shore Avenue place.

“The public, they do not want any marijuana shop on that street since the shore has a good ocean view, the persons are jogging, little ones are playing, and the neighborhood mentioned they do not want to see the marijuana shop on front street,” An mentioned.

There had been also complaints from the board about applying the word “pot” in the small business name, prompting a adjust to Green Zone.

Two persons expressed concern more than the shop at the board meeting. A single cited attainable effects on the surrounding neighborhood, and the other was worried about use by staff of Maniilaq Well being Center, which prohibits cannabis use by its workers. An’s lawyer mentioned the shop would have safety measures in spot at the facility.

An has been functioning for two years to get the small business up and operating, due to in depth regulations. He says he’s excited about venturing into an emerging sector.

“I’m not a smoker, but marijuana is a new small business, a difficult small business persons have by no means completed just before,” An mentioned. “I’ve been promoting liquor in Nome for 12 years, so I just wanted to attempt to do anything distinct.”

An at the moment lives in Nome, but is packing up to move to Kotzebue and hopes to have the shop open in two to 3 months. Kotzebue’s very first retail marijuana shop was authorized in April and opened in May perhaps.