- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2016

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Three new marijuana entrepreneurs are preparing to open up shop in Fairbanks, raising the number of anticipated pot stores in the city to seven.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has recently issued zoning permits for new stores owned by residents Buik Hong, James Simpson and Barbara Paschall, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/1VPVinc).

Hong is planning to start selling marijuana at the tobacco and pipe shop store he already owns called Andy’s Smoking. It’s located in a strip mall alongside other retail stores, restaurants and a tattoo shop.

Simpson has been remodeling the inside of his future pot dispensary, Wishful Things, for the last year. It will be able to accommodate up to 15 people for consuming marijuana on site, according to Simpson’s zoning permit.

“It’s a retail marijuana shop, but it’s got some added amenities where you can actually consume on the property,” Simpson said.

Paschall said in an email her store called Natural ReLeaf will focus on customers who are looking to use pot for medical purposes.

“Our shop’s focus will be more on the natural pain relief and more on the natural medical benefits of marijuana,” she said.

The four other marijuana businesses that have been issued permits are Pakalolo Supply Co., Head in the Clouds, Frozen Budz and True Dank.

The owners will have to acquire licenses from the state before opening up their shops for business.

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board is expected to begin issuing licenses for the retail marijuana industry later this year.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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