ALASKA FIREWEED CELEBRATES SOFT RECREATIONAL OPENING

STORY AND PHOTOS BY WHITNEY BRANSHAW

Alaska Fireweed opened their doors to family and friends for a soft opening on December 15th, 2016. The store layout was tight and right as process. Many have said that of the two licenses they had to get, meeting state requirements was easy and meeting municipal requirements presented plenty of challenges. Alaska Fireweed experienced serendipity with their location, as little construction for the retail store was needed. It’s also in the perfect location when it comes to zoning in Anchorage.

Alaska Fireweed hopes to market itself towards the professional working crowd with a high-end, boutique atmosphere. The downtown location will be a cornerstone for tourists during our summer season, carrying everything you could possibly need to get out and enjoy cannabis safely in Alaska. Alaska Fireweed also plans to utilize their location and implement onsite consumption, if and when the Marijuana Control Board and state of Alaska moves in that direction. Alaska Fireweed could expand on the opportunity to serve Alaska’s tourism industry by providing a safe and legal place for consumption of cannabis. As it stands now, tourists will be smoking weed on the streets or in their hotel rooms, which is not in line with a regulated market. General Manager Will Ingram says that expected, with the available strains on where you walk in with descriptions to accompany them. Their apparel done by 49th Supply Co. with clean and concise designs seemed to be flying off the shelves. The Greatland Ganja cultivators were also on hand to educate folks on the 9 different strains of sun grown cannabis available for purchase from their summer harvest. The owners of the store mingled through the crowd amid a sea of congratulations, hugs and high fives.

The Anchorage cannabis community came out to celebrate the long awaited opportunity to purchase legal weed in our city. While we legalized recreational cannabis in November of 2014, we lacked the infrastructure needed to support the industry. Unlike other states that had medicinal retail locations and cultivators, we were behind the curve when it came to legal businesses opening up. The process has been especially difficult to navigate in Anchorage in regards to potential locations and the requirements surrounding municipality display along the walls onsite consumption is one of their “highest hopes when it comes to being in business.”

If the soft opening of Alaska Fireweed said anything about the future of cannabis sales in Alaska, it’s that the supply will not meet demand. As a small event open only to family, friends and industry members- sales far exceeded expectations. The grand opening of Alaska Fireweed took place on December 17th at “high noon”, following in the footsteps of other retail locations such as Herbal Outfitters in Valdez and Pakalolo Supply Co. in Fairbanks. The Alaska Cannabis industry is off to a running start, and Alaska Fireweed is setting the bar high when it comes to a quality retail experience.

What a time to be Alaskan!

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