Alaska TV reporter turned pot activist aims to open Anchorage cannabis club

By Eric M. Johnson (Reuters) - (Please note strong language in final paragraph) A former Alaska broadcast news reporter who famously quit her job in an on-air stunt aimed at boosting a campaign to legalize pot in Alaska said on Friday she aims to open a bricks-and-mortar cannabis club in Anchorage before turning it into a seed-to-sale business. Voters in Alaska and Oregon on Tuesday opted to legalize recreational marijuana use in ballot measures that will ultimately usher in regulated pot retail stores similar to those already operating in Washington state and Colorado. Charlo Greene is already the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, a network of users that share medical pot they grow at home under existing law. She plans a December re-launch that will create a physical location at a downtown Anchorage building where the 21-year-old and over club members can attend grow-it-yourself classes, events, and of course get high. "The majority of the money that the cannabis club will make between here and then is all going to be put back into the business and the brand," the 26-year-old said in an interview. When the new law takes effect, likely in February, Greene's members and all Alaskans can legally possess, transport, and share up to one ounce of their indica and sativa varietals. After nine months of state rulemaking, licensed retail shops could open in 2016, and Greene hopes to open a seed-to-sale business with a home-delivery component anchored at the site. Greene, who grew up in Anchorage, first tried pot as a teenager but didn't like it, turning instead to alcohol before drinking began to push her life off track in college in Texas. On a friend's advice, she took up pot and graduated with honors, she said. These days, she prefers cannabis cigars. But it wasn't until a summer opinion poll showed Alaska's marijuana initiative was heading for possible defeat that Greene, feeling shackled by a reporter's objectivity, planned a splashy on-camera stunt aimed at reviving a campaign she longed to support publicly. "I ... will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska," Greene said in the Sept. 21 broadcast, revealing herself as the cannabis club owner. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit," she added. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)