Marijuana plant. Photo from flickrCreative CommonsBrett LevinLEGAL Colorado marijuana grow

Marijuana plant. Photo from flickrCreative CommonsBrett LevinLEGAL Colorado marijuana grow

A Coffman Cove resident is trying to start up a marijuana cultivation business in the Prince of Wales Island community. But first he needs the support from the town’s voters. KFSK’s Angela Denning reports:

Coffman Cove has about 200 year round residents. Voters there have not approved having a marijuana business in town. Not yet anyway. But Coffman Cove resident Brian Wilson Jr. hopes to change that.

“A lot of people will vote based on their personal opinions toward it,” Wilson Jr. said. “They don’t go off facts, they don’t go off the studies that have been done recently.”

Wilson Jr. is trying to start up a cultivation business in Coffman Cove which would be housed on his private property. Ever since the state approved marijuana businesses, he’s wanted to get involved in what he calls an up and coming trend.

“I think it’s an industry that could benefit Southeast Alaska,” Wilson Jr. said. “All of our small towns have such limited resources for income and small economies, which is based around tourism mainly and commercial fishing. So, having a new industry for Alaska, I think, is wonderful.”

Wilson Jr. has submitted application documents to the state but the process is on hold until Coffman Cove voters approve marijuana businesses locally. The issue has already failed on a close vote once but Wilson Jr. says he’d like to get another public vote this summer. In the meantime, he’ll try to educate the public on the way he views marijuana.

“There’s a whole industry and there’s a whole other side of it other than marijuana’s illegal and it’s bad,” he said.

He plans to provide marijuana to any retail stores in the Prince of Wales area that might open up in the future and then expand to other areas in Southeast. He says he’d likely start to provide product to the larger island community of Craig eventually. It’s accessible by road from Coffman Cove. Craig voters have already approved allowing a retail marijuana store in town but no one has opened one there yet.

In the best case scenario Wilson Jr. sees getting his business started in six months.

As for the business name Dazed Dog Gardens? Wilson Jr. says it’s named after his dog.

“I have a dog who is 14-years-old and his name is Dazed. I work construction and travel throughout different towns and he goes with me and a lot of people know him better than they know me,” he said, laughing.

Wilson Jr. says his application materials are complete. He’s just waiting on the okay from the Coffman Cove residents.

The Coffman Cove City office was closed when this story was produced but some city council members confirmed that the initial vote was close, within five votes.