American Green Inc (ERBB:US OTC) last week announced the purchase an entire California town (all 0.13 square miles of it) called Nipton. Assuming things go as planned for Arizona-based marijuana company, Nipton will be transformed into a pot lover’s paradise.
The company paid a whopping $5 million last week to purchase the 80-acre unincorporated community bordering the Mohave National Preserve, with hopes of cashing in on the cannabis tourism trend by turning it into the “first-of-its-kind eco-tourism experience for conscious cannabis consumers.”
Nipton, with a current population of 19, is about an hour’s drive from Las Vegas and over three hours from Los Angeles. The community, which sprouted from the California Gold Rush, has a quaint hotel, a cafe, a general store, a schoolhouse, and not much else.
Nipton took root in the early 1900s Gold Rush and become a rest stop for the railroad industry. It wasn’t until 1980 that a gold miner from Malibu named Gerald Freeman and his wife, Roxanne Lang, bought the town, reopening its general store and café and renovating the hotel. Freeman also installed a solar farm with hopes to make the community energy self-sufficient. Freeman put Nipton on the market last year for $5 million claiming he was too old to manage it. He died shortly thereafter.
American Green’s 18-month, $2.5 million plan to bring the Green Rush to Nipton will initially focus on setting up a bottling facility to produce CBD-infused water. As they expand, the company hopes to add on a cultivation facility and a manufacturing facility for marijuana edibles.
The company also plans to expand on the community’s small solar farm and aims to add more cannabis tourism features including “CBD and mineral baths, cannabis retail outposts, artists-in-residence programs, culinary events, and Bed-and-Breakfast lodging to complete the charming small town experience.” The company plans to invite other marijuana-friendly businesses to set up shop as it expands.
“We are thrilled to begin work on this first-of-its-kind eco-tourism experience for conscious cannabis consumers,” David Gwyther, chairman and president of American Green, stated in a press release announcing the purchase.
“The Cannabis Revolution that’s going on here in the US has the power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century,” Gwyther said in the statement. “This acquisition allows us to channel the myriad interests in cannabis production and consumption for an immediate positive impact to this community’s members and to cannabis consumers across the country.”
Shares of the Phoenix-based corporation, still valued at under a penny, shot up on the announcement, giving a current (Aug 7. mid day) market cap of $7.5 million. The company claims it is the largest publicly traded cannabis company in the U.S.