Asheville Alcoholic Beverage Control officials: We're prepping for marijuana sales – Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville alcohol regulators told the City Council at a Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, meeting that they are making some preparations to sell marijuana in case it becomes legal in North Carolina.(Photo: AP)

ASHEVILLE — City alcohol regulators say they’re making some preparations to sell marijuana should it become legal in North Carolina.

Asheville Alcoholic Beverage Control officials made the statements during and after a Tuesday City Council meeting where they were reporting annual numbers and trends to the elected body.

ABC Board Chairman Lewis Isaac told the council it is the board’s job to take a “30,000-foot view” and anticipate changes.

“There is a national trend to legalize cannabis. And we will probably oversee the sales and distribution because we are already a part of that control structure,” said Isaac, who like other board members is appointed by the council.

Council members made no comment about the potential for cannabis legalization. Last year, the council voted unanimously in support of a state bill allowing medical marijuana.

Asheville’s ABC system built a $3 million, 40,000-square-foot warehouse on old Brevard Road recently to deal with high growth in liquor sales. The warehouse was built with additional capacity, Isaac said, to hold cannabis products if legalization happens.

“One of the good things about our new warehouse is that we will have space in case that indeed does occur,” the chairman said.

Mark Combs, the city’s ABC general manager, speaking after the meeting said Asheville’s liquor body is seen around the state as kind of a maverick institution. But Combs, who as manager is overseen by the ABC board, said he thought preparing for marijuana legalization was the responsible thing to do.

“I’m 62 years old. I’m not going to be there forever but I sure don’t want my successor to curse my name.”

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