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With State Approval, a Marijuana Store is Coming to Nome

Close-up / macro shot of vibrant green hemp / marijuana plant.

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board met in Nome this week to discuss a variety of applications for manufacturing facilities, cultivation facilities, and retail stores. Among those approved by the Board was a license for a Nome-based marijuana retail store, the first in Western Alaska.

Robin Thomas owns and operates Gudlief Organization. He currently has a limited cultivation license but recently requested that the Board re-consider and approve his application for a retail store license.

Thomas’s application was originally denied in November due to a few reasons, which Board Chair Mark Springer reiterated during Thursday’s meeting.

“Lack of detail in the application, some inaccuracies in the responses, and there were some concerns among the Board members that maybe the applicant didn’t understand some of the regulations. So, go ahead and make your presentation to us.”

Thomas then explained that he has now addressed all of AMCB’s original concerns, including upgrading the bathroom signs, locks, and waste disposal process at Gudlief. For the longtime Nome resident, Thomas says this has been a learning curve.

“I made some changes in the application, and there were about seven items, there was verbiage details. Verbiage for the signs was not verbatim, so those corrections were on some plastic signs made up with the white lettering, I got those posted. Cameras are focused on secure storage area and the retail (area).”

According to Thomas, currently his retail store is a little over 7 ½ feet by 10 feet, but his long-term plan is to expand the space to fit more than three or four people at a time. Board member Brandon Emmett made the motion to reconsider Thomas’s application, which all four members, Mark Springer the Board Chair, Loren Jones, Brandon Emmett, and Nicholas Miller, supported. One seat on the AMCB is currently vacant.

Then came time for the vote to approve Gudlief Organization’s retail store license.

“Okay, I guess we are ready to vote on license 11119. Mr. Jones? Yes. Mr. Emmet? Yes. Mr. Miller? Yes. And I’m a yes so there you go. You’re very welcome.”

As the Board Chair pointed out, Thomas now owns the first, and currently the only, marijuana retail store in Nome and the region. It is unknown as to when Thomas’s Gudlief organization facility will pass final inspection, but the Gudlief owner says he plans to open his shop on April 20th at 4:20pm.

Image at top: file photo: public domain, via Pixabay.

Front facade of wood-paneled building with grey door and snow-covered front porch.

File photo: Gudlief marijuana cultivation facility in Nome. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM (2017).