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Kenai Peninsula's first retail pot shop set to open

On Monday, the Kenai Peninsula's first retail marijuana business will open its doors.

"Our goal was to get the Kenai Peninsula legal ganja before Thanksgiving," said Marc Theiler, one of three owners of Kenai's Red Run Cannabis. 

Alaska's first retail pot store opened in Valdez on Oct. 29, nearly two years after voters moved to legalize the sale of marijuana. Additional stores have since opened in Fairbanks, and stores in Anchorage have said they plan to open in coming months, but many are contending with building permits, state paperwork and erratic supplies as cultivation businesses continue to ramp up.

Red Run Cannabis has licenses to cultivate marijuana and sell it in its storefront, a converted gas station located at 5455 Kenai Spur Highway, between Kenai and Soldotna. But it will be mid-January before the company's own cultivated marijuana is ready for the market.

"We built the cultivation and retail from scratch," Theiler said. "With the retail we had a bunch of things fall into place."

For its opening, Red Run Cannabis will be selling marijuana grown by Greatland Ganja, a Kasilof operation that was the first in the state to make a commercial harvest. The store plans to stock pre-rolled joints and eight different strains of marijuana sold in 1, 2 or 4-gram packages.

"We're going to keep it really simple for people," he said.

Keeping the supply flowing could be a challenge, Theiler said. 

"We are not going to get the swing of getting any sort of reliable supply until around Christmas; then we'll see a more steady supply," he said. 

The store will be open Monday through Wednesday but closed on Thanksgiving. Theiler said he plans to reopen Friday and have regular hours until supply runs out.

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