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'Now All I Need Is Some Herb': Alaska Issues First License For Recreational Retail Store

The owners of Frozen Budz have high hopes now that they've received Alaska's first retail marijuana license.

Destiny Neade, co-owner of the Fairbanks business, received a round of applause from the audience after she won unanimous approval for the inaugural permit from the five-man Alaska Marijuana Control Board.

She clapped with both hands above her head after getting the OK. As she walked back to her seat, she told the audience, "Now all I need is some herb."

"I'm excited because I really need to start making some money," Neade told The Associated Press.

She and her husband Nick Neade have poured more than $150,000 into their fledgling business. They hope to open shop by Oct. 1.

The board has been working on rules for the industry since the November 2014 vote approving the recreational use of marijuana. Pot is also legal for adults in Washington state, Oregon, Colorado and the District of Columbia.

State marijuana regulators approved the Neades' application during a two-day meeting in Anchorage. The board was also to consider marijuana retail permits from 16 other applicants, plus a rash of manufacturing and cultivating permits.

Couple also receives approval for a production facility

The Neades' also received approval for a product manufacturing facility, and regulators painstakingly addressed many of her 40 or so proposed products to make sure they adhere to state regulations. More than 25 were approved before the board decided to hold some for another meeting because the process became so lengthy.

Frozen Budz received approval to make such items as cannabis-infused butter, oil, brownies, caramels, truffles, cookies, cupcakes, fudge, banana bread, ice cream, granola bars and breakfast treats called Wake and Bake Bars.

"We're kind of that home-feel bakery but infused with marijuana," she said.

Board also issues a second permit

Enlighten Alaska, a retail store planned in Anchorage, was the second permit issued.

"It's incredibly exciting obviously, and really proud to represent the industry in such a responsible way," said co-owner Leah Levinton. "I think as a family business, we will wrap in the family values into our business practice."

Levinton, her mother, Jane Stinson, and her brother, Evan Levinton hope to open shop in December.

Their target market will be professionals and soccer moms in the 30-to-50 age range and baby boomers.

The Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board delayed for at least another month action on a proposal that would give certain retail stores permission to have areas where customers could light up - a key issue because tourists and others would otherwise be prohibited from doing so in public.


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