East Rip, the peninsula’s newest marijuana retailer, is photographed on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

East Rip, the peninsula’s newest marijuana retailer, is photographed on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

East Rip: The peninsula’s newest cannabis shop opens in Kenai

East Rip is the peninsula’s newest recreational marijuana retailer, and the first cannabis business located in Kenai’s compact commercial center.

Ryan Tunseth has been working to get East Rip set up for nearly a year, and has had his share of hiccups over the location and nature of the business. When East Rip was working on getting a permit from the city, there was some controversy surrounding the proposed location of East Rip, which is adjacent to Arby’s in central Kenai. In Dec. 2017, the Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission narrowly approved East Rip’s city permit after the commission reconsidered their November 2017 denial of the permit. The shop received their permits from the state earlier this summer, and East Rip was able to have a soft opening the second week of September.

Q: What made you want to get into this industry?

A: Personally, I was going through a bit of a life change. I was working at Exxon Mobil when there was a shakeup with my Cook Inlet job. Exxon wanted to move us to Texas. I didn’t want to uproot my family. My kids like it here. I grew up here and have lived here my whole life. My dad lives here. We love it here. So, we decided to stay. My wife and I tossed around a few business ideas that might pay the bills and this one just stuck.

Q: With a density of churches, playgrounds, schools and parks in central Kenai, it is difficult to find a spot to open this sort of business. How has this location been working for you since opening?

A: The location is great. It’s something we feel is one our biggest assets. We are on a frontage road, and we like that it’s not right on the highway. People can access the store discretely. We’re a little bit removed, which was something we were looking for.

Q: Cannabis is a booming industry, how has business been for East Rip since first opening?

A: Business is great. We came in and opened and there was a lot of momentum. Then we were on the heels of the Permanent Fund Dividend. Sales have been great, but we’ve been seeing this momentum from opening and from the PFD. I think it will get slower and steadier in the winter. It’s been better than expected

Q: How have you been promoting your new business?

A: We’ve gone with the sort of grassroots marketing strategy through word of mouth. We have one radio commercial right now, but we had no advertisements for the first two weeks. We were focused on knocking our customer service out of the park.

Q: How much locally grown product does East Rip carry?

A: Pretty much everything on the menu is locally grown on the peninsula, whether it’s from K-Beach or Nikiski, it’s almost all locally grown.

East Rip is open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday – Thursday, at 10767 Kenai Spur Highway.

Ryan Tunseth stands at the counter of his business, East Rip, on Monday in Kenai. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Ryan Tunseth stands at the counter of his business, East Rip, on Monday in Kenai. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

East Rip, a new Kenai marijuana shop, is photographed on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

East Rip, a new Kenai marijuana shop, is photographed on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion 
The Kenai River can be seen from the Funny River Campground on Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Funny River, Alaska.
State seeks funding for Funny River boat launch

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is working to secure funding for… Continue reading

.
COVID-19 cases remain high in area

Every region of Alaska was considered to be at “intermediate” or “high”… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
The entrance to Soldotna Public Library is seen on Thursday, March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska.
Soldotna library seeks to beef up reading programs

The Soldotna Public Library will use a $2,200 donation from the Soldotna… Continue reading

Characters from the "Little Mermaid" wave to the crowd from the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Soldotna Progress Days parade on Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Progress on parade

The Progress Days Parade was held Saturday in Soldotna.… Continue reading

Scaffolding is erected around the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, July 20, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Parishioners largely welcomed back to in-person church services

One serious point of contention during the coronavirus pandemic, amid many, has… Continue reading

Kenai Courthouse is photographed on February 26, 2019 in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Court reports, July 25

The following dismissals were recently handed down in Kenai District Court: Dalton… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Police Reports, July 25, 2021

Information for this report was taken from publicly available law enforcement records… Continue reading

Clayton Holland stands in his office at the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
New superintendent discusses upcoming school year

Clayton Holland is ready to get to work. That’s what the new… Continue reading

South Peninsula Hospital registered nurse Anne Garay gives Jessica Entsminger her second COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, May 7, 2021, at a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Boathouse Pavillion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. About 25 people received vaccines in the first 3.5 hours of the 4-hour clinic. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
As COVID cases increase, officials think we’re not yet at the fourth peak

Department of Health and Social Services officials said during a Thursday press… Continue reading

Most Read