Homer’s first marijuana retail shop is set to open Thursday. Uncle Herb’s was approved by the state Marijuana Control Board back in September, and the shop will open its doors just in time for the busy summer season.
Store manager Aaron Stiassny will run the shop in Homer for his father Loyd. Stiassny currently manages the family’s shop in Anchorage under the same name.
The display cases in Homer were empty Wednesday evening, but Stiassny said the shop will be stocked and ready to go.
“I mean we’re just really excited to be the first cannabis shop in Homer. I know there’s a lot of residents eagerly awaiting the first cannabis shop,” Stiassny said as he stood behind the counter. “It’s a great opportunity to bring this business down here. This is going to provide good sales tax revenue for the community. We really want to be good citizens.”
Stiassny said the shop will offer about 15 to 20 marijuana strains to start. He adds that Uncle Herb’s will purchase a large portion of its marijuana products from cultivators on the Kenai Peninsula, but it will also feature strains grown by cultivators in and near Homer.
Stiassny explains that the shop will also offer strains high in CBD content, which are said to provide pain relief, in the future.
“Flower and pre-rolls will be the two main staples for our opening, and we have deliveries of concentrates and cartages and edibles,” he explained. “I don’t know if they are going to make the opening on Thursday, but we will definitely be stocked up sometime next week.”
Uncle Herb’s has hired eight part-time employees so far. Stiassny said that could change depending on business during the summer, and he said the shop’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Those may change over the course of the summer depending on traffic. Opening day, we’re going to delay that, 2 [p.m.] to 10 [p.m.], just to give us some time to set up in the morning and get ready for the excitement,” he said.
Stiassny hopes to capitalize on Homer’s busy tourism season, but he said the shop will stay open year round.
Uncle Herb’s joins the roughly 30 marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and retail businesses in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. It’s the first retail shop to open on the southern Kenai Peninsula.