A Pot Oasis in San Bernardino County? Not So Fast.

Always read the fine print, especially before purchasing an entire town for $5 million.

It appears that a company’s plans to turn a remote San Bernardino County town into a marijuana tourism mecca may go up in smoke.

Earlier this month, Arizona-based American Green announced it purchased the entire California town of Nipton for about $5 million to make it a hub of cannabis production mixed with bed-and-breakfast lodging and attractions like mineral baths.

“People think San Bernardino County is the Wild West and they can do what they want.” — Lt. Sarkis Ohannessian

The problem is that a county ordinance for unincorporated areas, including Nipton, bars all sales, distribution and production of cannabis, overriding the state’s recent move to legalize recreational marijuana.

The move seems so bone-headed that some are wondering whether this was all a publicity stunt for the company.

Not so, says its project manager Stephen Shearin. His company was aware of the county ordinance but always suspected it could make a deal, he says.

“We can’t grow cannabis there under that strict reading under that statute,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean it will never happen or never happen soon.”

Don’t hold your breath.


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