Pot shop clashes with tourism in eclectic Alaska town

TALKEETNA, Alaska — The presence of a marijuana retail store has caused a deep divide in this quirky tourist town, where hundreds of visitors roam the streets daily browsing in art galleries and souvenir shops housed in historic cabins.
Most of Talkeetna’s stores line the two long blocks that make up its Main Street, where tourists — many who arrive in Alaska on cruise ships and are bused about two hours north from Anchorage — wander into storefronts like Nagley’s General Store for ice cream or slip through its back door for a cold one at the West Rib Bar and Grill.
At Main Street’s opposite end, near a river park where visitors snap photos of the continent’s tallest mountain, is Talkeetna’s newest venture into the tourism trade. The High Expedition Co. is a nod to the rich mountain climbing history of the eclectic community purported to be the inspiration for the 1990s television series “Northern Exposure.”
Talkeetna’s first marijuana retail store is causing a rift not seen in othe..

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Oregon wildfires worry cannabis growers

PORTLAND — Wildfires scorching hundreds of acres in Southern Oregon are prompting evacuations, canceling popular performances of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival and casting a smoky cloud over the region’s most famous crop.
Marijuana growers say the wildfires have turned what normally would be the sun-drenched end of summer into a smoky haze that has affected their plants and field workers.
“The smoke down here is choking out everything,” said Brent Kenyon, a longtime marijuana grower in Eagle Point who owns Oregon Cannabis Farms.
He said the haze has covered the crop like a “plastic layer” sealing out direct sunlight as the plants head into its critical flowering stage.
Michael Monarch, owner of Epic Family Farms in Talent, Ore., said he sent field workers home early on Wednesday because of poor air quality.
“The smoke is not fun at all,” he said. “We are wearing masks and dealing with the carbon in the air.”
Jackson and Josephine counties make up the epicenter of outdoor mariju..

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Main Street Marijuana may move to new spot

The top-selling pot shop in Washington may be outgrowing itself.
Since opening in July 2014, Main Street Marijuana has served a deluge of customers in becoming the busiest marijuana retailer in the state. But only street parking is available around its Uptown Village storefront.
So, co-owner Ramsey Hamide said it might be time to relocate. Hamide said Friday there’s a 90 percent chance the business will move to a new location next year because customers say the store and streets are too packed.
“I’ve heard from customers that if there’s parking in front of the store, they’ll come in,” but not otherwise, Hamide said.
The Main Street Marijuana shop at 2314 Main St. in Vancouver gets roughly 2,000 visitors a day and employs 50 people. Its store totals 3,500 square feet, but the showroom is less than half that size.
There are four years left on the lease, Hamide said, but a clause would allow him to opt out as long as he gives three months’ notice. Landlord Norbert Anderson said Main ..

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Governors: Sessions should back off pot

JUNEAU, Alaska — Governors in at least two states that have legalized recreational marijuana are pushing back against the Trump administration and defending their efforts to regulate the industry.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, a one-time Republican no longer affiliated with a party, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week asking the Department of Justice to maintain the Obama administration’s more hands-off enforcement approach to states that have legalized the drug still banned at the federal level.
It comes after Sessions sent responses recently to the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, who asked him to allow the pot experiments to continue in the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana. Sessions detailed concerns he had with how effective state regulatory efforts have been or will be.
Washington state also responded to Sessions this week. Gov. Jay Inslee said the attorney general made claims about the situation in Washington that ..

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Oregon Coast attracts pot shops but doesn’t change vibe

NEWPORT, Ore. — Eddie Biggar sports a black-and-green suit dotted with tiny green leaves as he dances jovially on a corner of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Some two-and-a-half hours southwest of Portland, he owns the sidewalk. Just like a sign-waiver might promote the local pizzeria, The Weedman boasts $5 grams, urging customers down the street to CannaMedicine.
The state has licensed pot dealers in every Oregon county bordering the Pacific Ocean, with the highest number near the beach here in Lincoln County, state data show. But there’s little so far to suggest marijuana is changing the coastal economy, which is already largely fueled by tourism.
Still, there’s no question many out-of-towners are heading into coastal pot shops. Retailers say they’ve seen people from China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and South Korea.
“I’ve never seen so many different IDs in my life,” Shane Ramos-Harrington said in Touch of Aloha, his Hawaii-themed marijuana outpost in the area of Depoe Bay, a com..

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