by Our Foreign Staff, The Telegraph, August 4, 2017
One of the largest marijuana companies in the US has bought a California desert town, promising to turn it into a "cannabis-friendly hospitality destination."
American Green Inc. said it is buying all 80 acres of Nipton, which includes its Old West-style hotel, a handful of houses, an RV park and a coffee shop.
The town's current owner, Roxanne Lang, said the sale is still in escrow, but confirmed American Green is the buyer.
She declined to reveal price before the sale closes, but noted she and her late husband, Gerald Freeman, listed the property at $5 million when they put it up for sale last year.
Asked what her husband would think of the buyers' plans to turn Nipton into the pot paradise of the California desert, she laughed heartily.
"I think he would find a lot of humor in that," she finally said, adding that as a Libertarian Freeman had no problem with people using marijuana, and as a proponent of green power he'd be all in favor of energy independence.
Over the years he'd installed a solar farm himself that provides much of the tiny town's electricity.
American Green says it plans to expand that farm and also bottle and sell cannabis-infused water from Nipton's plentiful aquifer, joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one.
The buyers are also reaching out to edibles manufacturers and other pot-industry businesses, hoping they'll be interested in relocating to Nipton and bringing jobs with them.
The town's current residents number fewer than two dozen and one of its major sources of revenue is the California Lottery tickets the general store sells to people who cross the state line from Nevada because they can't buy them there.
"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."
Indeed it was a gold rush that created Nipton in the early 1900s when the precious metal was found nearby.