- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on the opening of the first legal retail marijuana store in Anchorage (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

An 81-year-old native of Italy became the first person to legally buy marijuana in Alaska’s largest city.

Anna Ercoli was first in line Thursday morning, hours before Arctic Herbery opened its doors in Anchorage to great fanfare.

The 45-year resident of Anchorage says she used marijuana for medicinal purposes. Ercoli says she rubs the marijuana extract on her skin, and it affords her a better night of sleep than anti-pain or sleeping pills.

Also in line for the first day of legal sales was 31-year-old Donavan Brown. He calls the opening of Anchorage’s first retail marijuana store “pretty exciting.”

He has friends coming back to Anchorage for the holidays, and he says they are “going to have a great taco night.”

___

10:22 p.m. Wednesday

The first retail marijuana store in Alaska’s largest city is set to open Thursday, and so many people are expected at the small store that shuttle buses will ferry customers in.

Owner Bryant Thorp has set the opening for high noon at Arctic Herbery, a small nondescript shop in a busy industrial and residential area of midtown Anchorage.

People are expected to line up well before hand, but they will have to stay outside. By law, only eight people are allowed inside the shop at any given time, and that includes employees.

While this will be Anchorage’s first legal retail store, others have opened in cities across the state. Alaskans approved the recreational use of marijuana in 2014, and state regulators have spent the time since setting up the new industry.

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