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What’s Really Going On With California’s New ‘Marijuana Disney’?

American Green made national headlines earlier this year when news broke that the company had bought a proverbial California “ghost town” for $5 million to transform it into a marijuana lover’s premium destination, akin to Amsterdam or Jamaica.

But how did the residents of Nipton, the former mining town American Green purchased, feel about the transformation of their quiet town? A recent report by Arizona’s Fox 15 gave insight to such considerations about this future “pot paradise.”

Jim Eslinger is the town’s unofficial mayor. He manages the old trading post and Hotel Nipton. Though he jokes to “come on out to where it’s normal” because of his fondness of the peace and solitude of Nipton, he had an interesting take on the changes to come.

“I’m excited and scared at the same time,” Eslinger told Fox 15. “But I’ve got a motor home so if I don’t like what American Green is doing to the town I can just head on down the road.”

It should be mentioned that the Phoenix-based company creating what’s been called “pot paradise,” “marijuana Disney,” and “cannabis capital USA” doesn’t grow or sell marijuana. Instead American Green makes money off cannabis-related products. The company intends to build the infrastructure for cannabis to thrive in the small town they own.

“You can stay, blaze and gaze at the amazing stars without bothering somebody else,” said Stephen Shearin, the American Green project manager for Nipton. “You won’t have to run back behind some dugout or trailer and feel like a criminal.”

American Green, though, might not be able to build that infrastructure. According to recent financial filings, the company only has $200,000 cash on hand and find itself trading penny stocks with 14 billons of those shares being outstanding. Marijuana investment expert Alan Brochstein labeled the company’s financial position “pretty dire” and isn’t a believer in building a “pot paradise.”

“There was one [in Colorado] that had something called a ‘bud and breakfast’ and it was an epic fail as well, so I expect that will be the case here,” Brochstein said. “This strikes me as kind of a Hail Mary by the company to try to stimulate some interest.”

Though it did create a stir, only time will tell if American Green can really revitalize a green rush in the town, or if this really was a last-ditch effort by a fledgling company.


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