Cannabis History Museum Opens in Willits
March 2, 2020 — The parking lot at the long-shuttered Rexall drugstore in downtown Willits was packed on Sunday afternoon, for the grand opening of the Emerald City Museum, an archive of cannabis culture artifacts that has been accumulating for the last fifty years.
The vintage signs for cosmetics and various pharmaceutical products are still on the wall, above rows of curated magazine covers, a re-created hippy living room, a cannabis confessional, and an assortment of items that evoked nostalgia and laughter in old stoners and long-time activists.
Richard Jergenson is the archivist who’s been doing all that accumulating. His mother inadvertently inspired his collecting habit when she tried to dissuade her sons from smoking reefer, by giving them a LIFE magazine with a cover featuring a close-up of someone smoking a joint. Needless to say, that magazine is in the collection.
The Emerald City Museum is staffed entirely by volunteers. Hours are Friday through Sunday, 2-6pm.