Presence of marijuana retail store in Alaskan tourist town becomes threat for tourist business

Published on : Thursday, August 31, 2017

Alaskan tourist townThe presence of a marijuana retail store has caused a deep divide in the quirky tourist town of Talkeetna, where hundreds of visitors roam the streets daily visiting art galleries and souvenir shops housed in historic cabins.

At Main Street’s opposite end, near a river park where visitors take photos of the continent’s tallest mountain, is Talkeetna’s newest venture into the tourism trade.


Talkeetna’s first marijuana retail store is causing a rift not seen in other tourist-dependent towns in this Libertarian-leaning state, where marijuana had a casual acceptance long before it became legal. However, here, like in many pot-legal states, some towns have opted out of sales, fearful it might encourage crime and other social evils.

In Talkeetna, some shop owners are of the opinion that this one shop could ruin the tiny town’s historic atmosphere and harm businesses. Grabbing the attention of amateur shutterbugs is a small “Cannabis Purveyors” wooden sign on the store’s deck. State regulators approved the store’s permit on a 3-2 vote last spring.

“There’s people that are upset about it, but it’s legal,” said Sue Deyoe, the Talkeetna Historical Society and Museum’s executive director.

Many said that the very presence of a pot store will harm business in the historic town, where residents make a year’s living between Memorial Day and Labor Day.


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