California’s future marijuana mecca town is beginning to take shape. New signs, fresh gravel, and a small pond are just the beginnings of this tiny to-be paradise, a place called Nipton.
Cannabis company American Green, the new owner of the town, had purchased the area for $5 million, and is planning to dramatically expand lodging options. The cafe has already been renovated, but the marijuana is still missing for the next few months.
Jim Eslinger, the de-facto mayor, explains the company’s plans to create a self-sustaining place where pot is publically welcome and regulations don’t bog down entrepreneurs. An outdoor smoking lounge and hookah bar are in the works, as well as a wellness spa, restaurants, a microbrewery, and a “medical academy.” One of the first Nipton-made products that American Green hopes to offer is pain-relieving, non-psychotropic CBD-infused water, pumped from the aquifer beneath the Mojave desert.
The residents seem to be pleased with the changes that are happening on a daily basis, a combination of modernization and returning things to the way they were previously, with some personal touches. The company hopes to bring in a bank and restore postal services, according to Stephen Shearin, who is managing the project for American Green.
“This isn’t an 80-ace development of condos. People have been living there for 130 years,” he said “We’re evolving the town into the future.” Once marijuana stores become legal, they will be hosting them as well as supporting related businesses such as cultivators and glassblowers.
Eslinger, a resident who stumbled upon the area eight years prior, said he always envisioned retiring to Amsterdam, where he could smoke a little marijuana for pain relief while watching the world go by. Instead, he found his place amid the quiet of Nipton, and is hardly worried about the changes, as they largely fit with his own dream.
“Amsterdam was my idea of heaven, and it looks like it might be coming here to me, right in the middle of nowhere, “ he said. “So far, all American Green has done is put a smile on this town’s face.”