Anchorage assembly OKs city's first retail marijuana shop

Published: Oct. 4, 2016 at 9:11 PM AKDT
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With a quiet and quick vote, the Anchorage assembly approved the city’s first retail marijuana business, named The Arctic Herbery.

“Anyone at all?” asked chair Elvi Gray-Jackson, who wasn’t the only one in the crowd who appeared caught off guard when no one made a public comment. “The public hearing is now closed, what is the motion of the body?”

The vote was unanimous in favor of allowing Bryant Thorp to open up his cannabis shop at the intersection of Arctic Boulevard and 71st Street.

“I just wanted to make note, with breathtaking speed, we blew by the notable first approval of retail marijuana shop in Anchorage,” said assembly member John Weddleton to a round of applause from a handful of people in the audience.

“I'm shocked. That was easy. I expected some public outcry,” said Thorp, smiling just outside the assembly room

Thorp said he’s been working to open the first retail cannabis store in Anchorage for the past two years . He said his journey to license and operate a small retail storefront with a cultivation facility hasn’t been easy, but he can already envision what opening day will look like.

“If you open my door, I’ll have a doorman sitting there, he's going to check your ID,” said Thorp. “He's also going to make sure I don't have more than four people in the building at a time.”

Although he still must paint the lines in his parking lot, put finishing touches on the storefront and wait for the marijuana testing facilities to begin processing cannabis, Thorp said he anticipates his business opening as early as the first week of Nov.

The Arctic Herbery received its cultivation license and retail marijuana license from the state Marijuana Control Board earlier this year. Thorp said during that time, he’s made countless appearances in front of the Anchorage Assembly, as well as formed relationships within his local community council.

“You've got a good standing as number one [to be approved] here, so go forth and do good,” said assembly member Tim Steele.