Alaska Approves More Marijuana Retail Shops, Delays Decision About Onsite Use

Discussions about onsite marijuana consumption have been delayed until next month by Alaska marijuana regulators.

The state’s Marijuana Control Board was expected to consider Wednesday whether to move forward with proposed rules for allowing retail cannabis customers to consume their purchases on site.

It’s something that no other state that has legalized the recreational use of pot has allowed.

Instead, the board used its two day meeting to go through a backlog of license applications for manufacturing facilities and retail stores.

“They really wanted to focus on approved applications at this meeting so people could get started with their businesses as we move into summer,” said Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board. “Onsite consumption was kind of the big time-consuming issue that they pushed until the end and then we ran out of time.”

McConnell said there are three proposals put forth by three members of the board. She said those members will need to discuss all three and decide if they want to move forward with one of them.

The discussions on allowing customers to consume marijuana at businesses will most likely continue until after the May 15th meeting.

“If they do make a decision in May on one of the proposals put forth then that will need to go out for public comment,” McConnell said.

However, there was still plenty that got accomplished during this month's meeting.

13 new cultivation licenses were approved as well as 16 new retail shops and two product manufacturing licenses.

Growing Marijuana Alaska

Among one of those was the application for The High Expedition Co., which consumed a lot of time because of callers voicing opposition of opening a shop on Main Street in Talkeetna.

The board approved the licenses on a 3-2 vote after objections that a marijuana store on Main Street would damage the town’s historic nature.

Joe McAneney, the owner of The High Expedition Co., said that if all goes as planned the store will open on 4/20.


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