Chronic Problems Cast Cloud Over California’s Marijuana Mecca

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An envisioned pot paradise is on the rocks.

American Green, which had planned to transform the ghost town of Nipton, Calif. to a marijuana tourist destination, has sold the city, saying it could not raise the money needed to build what it envisioned.

The company, one of the first publicly traded businesses specializing in the legal cannabis space, bought Nipton for $5 million last year. It sold the town (population 20) to Delta International Oil & Gas for $7.7 million.

The sale, says American Green, includes a provision that it continue the transformation efforts of the 80-acre town. It says it has signed a contract to develop the town for the next five to 10 years.

Where those efforts stand now is unclear. Originally, though, the company said it hoped to offer attractions including CBD (a chemical found in cannabis) and mineral baths, cannabis-product retail outposts, artists-in-residence programs, and various culinary events. It also planned to use it as a production hub for cannabis-based products— including CBD-infused water.

Even if it does manage to turn Nipton into a weed wonderland, American General could have some competition for pot tourists. Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has already broken ground on a 40-acre ranch in California that aims to be a cannabis resort for growers and enthusiasts of the drug.