Homer’s second marijuana retail store is open and ready for businesses as its three partners move into the next phase of their plans for developing cannabis businesses in town.
Cosmic Cannabis Company sits on two lots in a large blue building on East Bunnell Avenue in Old Town, close to Two Sisters Bakery. It is only the second marijuana retail facility to be opened within Homer city limits since Alaska legalized commercial marijuana in 2015. Uncle Herb’s was the first to open in Homer in 2018, and Alaskan Cannabis Outfitters opened just outside of town in April.
The managing partners of Cosmic Cannabis Company are Chris Logan, Chris Long and Christopher Corey. Together they have run their cannabis concentrate manufacturing business, Cosmic Seaweed, for over a year. A retail store was the logical next step, Long said, in order for Cosmic Seaweed to sell its own product.
Cosmic Cannabis Company is currently open, but it is having a grand opening at 10 a.m. this Saturday. Food will be served, but attendees will be asked to social distance and bring masks for when they can’t stay 6 feet apart, Long said.
Logan and Long said the retail facility will be a full service store, selling all forms of marijuana and cannabis products customers are accustomed to, from flower and edibles, to concentrates and CBD products. Long also said they plan to sell non-cannabis holistic health products, like herbs.
“Chris and I are both nurses, and we want to help people still,” Long said.
Logan said that since marijuana business licenses are tied to the business address, it’s safer to own the land a business will be on. Cosmic Seaweed was established on land Logan already owned, and the partners bought the two properties on East Bunnell Avenue that the Cosmic Cannabis Company building and parking lot now sit on.
“It was a DIY thing all the way,” she said.
The partners wanted to be free of investors, so they’ve done a lot of the work to establish and build the two businesses themselves, Long said.
Logan did all the permitting and handled inspections for the businesses, as well as overseeing design and construction.
Once Cosmic Seaweed was up and running, Logan said the idea to expand to a retail store came up along the way through conversations with other people in the industry.
While Cosmic Cannabis Company sells Cosmic Seaweed concentrates, the new retail store will also feature products from several companies around the state, as well as equipment and paraphernalia.
And this isn’t the end of the road for the three partners. Long and Logan said the next planned phase is to obtain on-site consumption for the upper floor of the Cosmic Cannabis Company building. Alaska approved rules for on-site consumption in 2019, becoming the first state to do so. Since then, the state has approved at least two marijuana companies (one in Ketchikan and one in Fairbanks) to offer on-site consumption.
Homer had already adopted its local regulations for marijuana businesses, and they don’t include on-site consumption. The issue of whether to allow it came up at the city’s Cannabis Advisory Committee in 2017, but the committee ultimately recommended the city not allow on-site consumption.
Long and Logan said they plan to take a proposal to the Homer City Council which would allow on-site consumption within city limits. Their plan is to offer that service on the upper floor of their retail store, with smoking only allowed outside on the porch.
Logan said she’s started the proposal and has spoken with the city manager and planning department.
“To give them an idea of what on-site consumption at our specific facility would look like,” she said. “And that involves only smoking outdoors, still having smoke ventilation … outdoors on that covered deck. … And it only would be allowed at our facility.”
Logan and Long said a driver for this next phase in their business plan is that there is currently no legal place for tourists and visitors to Homer to smoke within city limits. They said they’ve gotten feedback from local hotels that a legal on-site consumption lounge would be well received by guests.
A focus for the company is cannabis used for medicinal purposes.
“About half of our clientele just want to get super stoned or high, and the other half use it as medicine,” Logan said. “And so we’re both very interested in cannabis as medicine.”
The three managers started Cosmic Seaweed on their own, and are now up to seven full time employees. They plan to add more with the Cosmic Cannabis Company store.
“Especially when the upstairs gets going,” Long said.
For more information, visit the Cosmic Seaweed and Cosmic Cannabis Company websites at cosmicseaweed.com and cosmic-cannabis-company.business.site. You can also find Cosmic Cannabis Company on Facebook.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.