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Why Did a Marijuana Company Buy a California Ghost Town?

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 04, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

No, this isn't some plot from a comic-book villain come to life; a company, that has, up till now, focused on marijuana technology and hemp oil, has purchased the town of Nipton, California for $5 million. The plan is to turn the ghost town, population: 6, into a destination for marijuana tourism.

Now, you may be asking: Marijuana tourism? Excuse me? However, in California's last election, marijuana was legalized for recreational use by adults in the state. This means that, soon, any adult will be able to purchase marijuana, like they would cigarettes or alcohol. As states like Colorado have seen, once marijuana is available for the public to buy, a new industry pops up: marijuana tourism.

What Is Marijuana Tourism?

In places where marijuana is legal and can be legally purchased, individuals from states where marijuana is not legal come to visit to partake in the pleasure that is forbidden in their home states. It's that simple. People in other states want to use marijuana legally, so they go visit a state where that is possible. Before states legalized marijuana for recreational use, American tourists often flocked to Amsterdam, or other nations, where marijuana is legal.

As a consultant for the ghost town buying company explained, the idea "isn't to create Woodstock 2017. It's about creating an environment where people come to work and share in a community." The marijuana tourist destination would feature farm tours, likely a lax attitude on use in public, and, of course, a place to buy marijuana.

Getting in on the Ground Floor

Since California's new recreational marijuana laws were only recently passed, the regulatory framework for the sale of marijuana to the public still has not been rolled out. However, business owners and entrepreneurs looking to get into the marijuana tourism industry should not wait. There are many obstacles and regulations that will take time to process.

If you decide to try getting into the marijuana tourism business, be careful about what you offer for sale in tourism deals. You don't want to get caught selling marijuana across state lines as it could be construed as a federal crime, even if your guests are coming from another state where it is legal. Consulting a business attorney early on is very good idea as federal law can land you in serious trouble if you make mistakes.

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