• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 12s

Celebrating cannabis: Anchorage’s first pot shop is open for business

By Shannon Ballard 4:38 PM December 15, 2016

Anchorage hit a marijuana milestone on Thursday. Arctic Herbery is officially the first pot shop in the city to start selling cannabis over the counter. It’s something folks have been waiting for since Alaska legalized weed two years ago.

While the first shop in the state opened in Valdez back in October, customers who lined up outside Arctic Herbery on a chilly morning said it’s their turn to be part of history.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see the day that you could actually go in and legally buy it and don’t have any worries,” Todd Crutchfield said.

Dozens of people waited patiently for their turn to enter the small retail space at 7107 Arctic Boulevard.

Eighty-one-year-old Anna Ercoli was the first customer through the doors. She bought a prepackaged container of the strain Afghan Kush and says she’ll use it medicinally to help manage pain in her legs and help her sleep.

Anna Ercoli, the store's first customer, only recently started using cannabis to manage pain in her legs. She plans to use Afghani Kush to make ointment.

Anna Ercoli, the store’s first customer, only recently started using cannabis to manage pain in her legs. She plans to use Afghan Kush to make ointment. (Jessica Stugelmayer / KTVA)

On the first day of legal sales, Arctic Herbery had three strains of marijuana available from North Pole cultivator Black Rapids. Because of the demand, customers were allowed to buy only one 2.5-gram container of cannabis for $50, plus tax. They were allowed to purchase no more than two rolled joints in addition, at a cost of $15 each.

Outside the store, customer Hans Schubert showed off his purchase.

“It’s Blueberry Indica,” Schubert said. “The aroma is so good.”

Hans Schubert bought a strain of marijuana called blueberry indica and was admiring its strong aroma.

Hans Schubert shows off his purchase of a strain of marijuana called Blueberry Indica outside of Arctic Herbery in Anchorage on Thursday. (Jessica Stugelmayer / KTVA)

Arctic Herbery owner Bryant Thorp says it was his dream for years to open the first pot shop in Anchorage.

“I’ve been called a hero by many people this morning and I’ve been thanked with tears in their eyes for putting forth the effort to get here,” Thorp said.

The store owner says opening day isn’t the finish line. He believes the legal cannabis industry in Anchorage is just getting started.

On Saturday, Alaska Fireweed in downtown Anchorage will start welcoming customers at “high noon.” The owners of Dankorage in Spenard told KTVA they will have a soft opening on Monday, Dec. 19. Several more stores are planning to open in the following weeks.

Mark Green poses after purchasing marijuana from Arctic Herbery in Anchorage on Thursday. He said he's been told pot would never be legalized in his lifetime. "I just proved all them naysayers wrong," he said.

Mark Green poses after purchasing marijuana from Arctic Herbery in Anchorage on Thursday. He said he’s been told pot would never be legalized in his lifetime. “I just proved all them naysayers wrong,” he said.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Alcohol suspected in serious Seward Highway crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 28, 16:06

    The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Anchorage Police say a northbound BMW crossed over into the oncoming traffic late […]

  • News

    1 dead in head-on Glenn Highway collision

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:59

    The Anchorage Police Department’s Traffic Unit is trying to determine what caused an SUV to lose control and cause a fatal crash Saturday. About 15 minutes after midnight Saturday morning, APD says a Chevy Suburban inbound on the Glenn Highway lost control, crossed the center median and struck a Ford Focus head-on. The driver of […]

  • News

    Pedestrian struck, killed on Gambell

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:54

    Anchorage Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian. Just before 3 a.m. Saturday, a late model Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Gambell Street struck a pedestrian. Police say the pedestrian, who has not yet been identified, was in the roadway outside of a crosswalk when he was hit. The man was taken to […]

  • Politics

    On first day back, Trump lashes out at ‘fake news media’

    by CBS News on May 28, 14:44

    WASHINGTON — Hours after returning from his first trip abroad as president, President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about “fake news media” and White House leaks. “It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” Mr. Trump said in a series […]

  • News

    US official mulling greatly expanding airplane laptop ban

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:30

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was […]

  • News

    Feds: Man jumps from plane after trying to bite attendant

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:27

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A 22-year-old man jumped out of an airplane waiting to take off in North Carolina and had to be stopped from running onto the runway. A federal air marshal said in a sworn statement that 22-year-old Tun Sein was flying from Charlotte to New Bern on Thursday when he stood after […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ tops box office, ‘Baywatch’ sinks

    by Associated Press on May 28, 10:54

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – It was smooth sailing to the top spot at the box office for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” but the waters were choppier for the Dwayne Johnson comedy “Baywatch.” Studio estimates on Sunday say the fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise commandeered $62.2 million […]

  • News

    Jet owned by Elvis sold for $430,000 at auction

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:09

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone […]