After more than a year of the state’s regulatory process, Talkeetna’s first marijuana retail store has opened its doors. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there and has more.
Talkeetna’s first legal marijuana sale took place on Friday afternoon when The High Expedition opened its doors for the first time. Joe McAneney refers to this as a soft opening, since most of the people who were there either heard by word-of-mouth or happened by as people were waiting for the opening at “high noon,” Joe’s words.
A mix of both locals and visitors gathered outside the shop to await the opening. Keith Durling of Ft. Meyers, Florida, says he didn’t know that recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska, and happened by with his friend, Matt Adams.
Durling said, “We’re actually here with an expert. He’s been smoking dope since the early ‘70s.” Durling added that his career had kept him from consuming cannabis. He said, “I’m a retired federal employee—I worked for the CIA—so I’ve never partaken in this.”
Locals made up the majority of the people waiting for the doors to open. Mark Green, who often goes by “Mark of the Wild,” was determined to be the first customer of The High Expedition. He waited from at least 9:00 am on to make sure he would be the first in line. After a long wait on a beautiful Talkeetna afternoon, the moment came.
Mark of the Wild was indeed the first through the door and the first to the cash register.
As they made the transaction, Joe thanked Mark, but Mark insisted on thanking Joe, saying he had been “waiting for this all my life.”
Joe McAneney had Mark sign a dollar bill to commemorate the first legal cannabis sale in Talkeetna.