Council gives first pot shop green light

  • An office now used as a bear viewing tour company office will be the spot for Uncle Herb’s, a proposed cannabis retail shop on Ocean Drive near Douglas Street. Former Homer resident Lloyd Stiassny owns the building and Uncle Herb’s. (Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News)

The Homer City Council gave the green light to what will likely be the first marijuana retail store within the city’s limits.

The council, through its consent agenda, approved the license for Uncle Herb’s at its Monday, Sept. 25 meeting. Owned by Anchorage resident Lloyd Stiassny, Uncle Herb’s is located at 1213 Ocean Drive near Douglas Street in a building he already owned. Stiassny, who is a former Homer resident, owns another Uncle Herb’s retail store in Anchorage.

“It feels great,” he said of the decision. “I think as I expressed here, it’s nice to be here in Homer. It’s great to have the approval of the council — they have a good process.”

At the state level, the cannabis shop’s license is active pending inspection, according to the Marijuana Control Board’s website. This means the store still has to undergo inspection by state officials, like a fire marshal, before it can open.

Stiassny said previously that he plans on remodeling the building, and his application contains numerous details about planned lighting, monitoring and security.

“We’re looking forward to being a really responsible, active participant in the Homer business community, and giving back, really,” he said Monday.

Stiassny said he plans to have a staff here at his Homer location and will also travel back and forth from Anchorage.

Homer Head Start is at the corner of Douglas Street and Ocean Drive, but is not considered a primary or secondary school under the city of Homer’s definition, and therefore the zoning code that prohibits commercial cannabis establishments near schools does not apply to Uncle Herb’s.

There is an ongoing effort to limit commercial cannabis operations in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Proposition 1 on the Oct. 3 borough election ballot asks if voters want to ban all commercial marijuana establishments in the borough outside of city limits. Since Stiassny’s store is in city limits, it wouldn’t be affected. Uncle Herb’s, along with Red Run Cannabis in Kenai, would still be able to operate if the proposition passes.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com.

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