Mendenhall Valley residents no longer need to make the trek downtown to purchase legal marijuana and related products.
Glacier Valley Shoppe, located at 8505 Old Dairy Road Suite 1, recently opened its doors and is the the first licensed marijuana retail store in the airport area close to the Mendenhall Valley.
Adam Gray, president of ForgetMeNot Enterprises Inc., a Juneau-based business founded in 2017 and parent company of Glacier Valley Shoppe, said the store has been in the works for about a year. After getting through all the state regulations to open a marijuana retail businesses, he said he is excited to finally open the doors.
“It’s good to finally be open,” Gray said. “We are happy and excited to be in the valley.”
This is Juneau’s fourth retail marijuana store to open since Alaska voters legalized recreational use with a 2014 ballot measure. Two stores are downtown and the other is on Mill Street, in the rock dump district.
Gray believes having a store near the Mendenhall Valley, which contains the majority of Juneau’s population, has already helped business. Gray said the store has had a consistent stream of customers, mostly based on word of mouth, since opening on Feb. 22.
“One of the things we have heard the most is that people have come in and said they are happy that they do not have to drive downtown,” Gray said. “Some of our customers said they do not like making that drive. The places downtown have good products, but parking is a problem. The local population will definitely benefit from the store.”
The store will keep some of its inventory local with extracts and cartridges from Juneau’s Top Hat Concentrates, a Co2 extraction and cannabis distillation company.
Glacier Valley Shoppe will also feature cannabis products from ForgetMeNot Enterprises’ other two licensed businesses based out of Fairbanks: Green Valley Enterprise, a cultivator, and Southeast Essentials, a cannabis products manufacturer. Gray said the main issue with not having Juneau-based strains is that the suppliers in town are already spoken for with the downtown businesses. Gray said while they would like to be more local, the selection should speak for itself. Currently 12 different strains and five pre-rolled options are available.
“We have cultivators and manufacturers doing really great stuff,” Gray said. “But everybody is different and everybody reacts differently to certain products.”
Both Gray and Doubrava said the store is more than willing to take recommendations from customers.
“We just had a customer looking for a specific brand that we did not have,” Doubrava said. “That is the only way we are going to survive is by listening to our customers.”
Expansion is something Gray said he would like to see — whether it’s in Juneau or in other Southeast communities — but for now the company is focused on the valley.
“We will go where the market takes us,” Gray said. “I think there may a couple more stores opening up (in Juneau) and once we weather that, we will consider other areas to expand.”
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at email@example.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.