Skagway marijuana shop receives license to open

A retail marijuana store is ready to open its doors in Skagway, but it’s waiting on one major detail: the pot.

Tara Bass with in the Remedy Shoppe with her license to open (Photo courtesy of Tara Bass)
Tara Bass with in the Remedy Shoppe with her license to open (Photo courtesy of Tara Bass)

Tara Bass is the owner of The Remedy Shoppe, a red and white building on Skagway’s Third St. Earlier this month it became the first business of its kind in the state to pass its final inspection and receive a license to open.

Several other businesses around Alaska have been given state and city approval but Bass is the first to pass the final inspection.

Local regulations require a conditional use permit to open in Skagway’s Business General Zone and Bass received that permit in April.

There’s one hold up, though, and that is right now Bass cannot stock her shelves. She’s still waiting on testing facilities to open once they get the final go-ahead from the state’s Marijuana Control Office.

Bass says didn’t want to be recorded for this story, but she says she could open her doors tomorrow if she had the product. She plans to buy marijuana from the local licensed cultivator Coyote and Toad’s Garden.

Bass and her husband run the Mile Zero Bed and Breakfast in town. Originally, she planned to turn her downtown location previously owned by her parents into a pharmacy. Instead, it was a vacation rental for several years. Then, she started looking into marijuana after Alaska voted to legalize it in 2014.

Bass says she feels there’s a need for a retail store and she doesn’t look at it any differently than alcohol.

There are several rules about where pot shops can be located. For instance, they have to be at least 500 ft. from schools and churches. Bass realized that her building was a sweet spot. She also feels it’s a good fit for the community and says she’s gotten a lot of positive feedback.

The Remedy Shoppe is the product of several years of work and Bass says she’s grateful for the support that she’d gotten from her community. She doesn’t yet have a set opening date, it all depends on when the other pieces fall into place.