Cannabis

Wasilla says NO to marijuana shops

WASILLA — Southcentral Alaska’s cannabis business just got more concentrated in Anchorage. A big chunk of the Valley, long a byword for marijuana cultivation, is out.

The Wasilla city council voted unanimously on Jan. 25 to ban all commercial marijuana within city limits, further narrowing options for Alaska cannabis industry to enter the newly legal market.

The ban prohibits testing, processing, cultivation, and retail sales within Wasilla city limits, and also expressly prohibits consumption anywhere except a private residence with the owner’s permission.

Kenai finalizes pot regulations, doubles schools setback

KENAI — Prospective marijuana businesses in Kenai will have to observe 1,000-foot setbacks from schools, 500-foot setbacks from other sensitive areas — measured two different ways — a list of zones in which they can establish themselves with permission from the Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission, and two zones in which one business type can operate unpermitted.

The Kenai City Council amended and unanimously passed the city’s final marijuana regulations during a four-and-a-half hour meeting Jan. 20.

Wasilla bans marijuana businesses

WASILLA — Southcentral Alaska’s cannabis business just got more concentrated in Anchorage. A big chunk of the Valley, long a byword for marijuana cultivation, is out.

The Wasilla city council voted unanimously on Jan. 25 to ban all commercial marijuana within city limits, further narrowing options for Alaska cannabis industry to enter the newly legal market.

The ban prohibits testing, processing, cultivation, and retail sales within Wasilla city limits, and also expressly prohibits consumption anywhere except a private residence with the owner’s permission.

Anchorage regs would ban pot clubs, pesticides

The Municipality of Anchorage doesn’t exactly trust state regulations, but appears to see the new marijuana industry as a revenue source worth mining.

An Anchorage ordinance would ban cannabis clubs and cafes, force retailers to foot the bill for cultivators’ pesticide use, and subject the Anchorage industry to city inspection on top of the required state inspection. Meanwhile, a separate ordinance establishes a retail marijuana sales tax that exceeds the city’s tax cap.

The Anchorage Ban on Pot Clubs

City regulators want more control of the state’s marijuana industry than afforded by the Marijuana Control Board regulations.

Space is scarce for Anchorage marijuana business

The marijuana industry will have a tough time finding willing landlords for their would-be dispensaries and cultivation facilities, and the Anchorage Assembly may tighten restrictions even further.

Retail legalization of marijuana will become reality in 2016

Rules governing the recreational cannabis industry were mostly settled at the state level in 2015, but 2016 will be Alaska marijuana’s true birth. Regulators will issue business licenses; cannabis businesspeople will open doors amid both known and yet-to-be-decided restrictions, and the state will punish, forgive, or ignore a fistful of gray market marijuana operations.

Marijuana industry criticizes city zoning

State cannabis regulations might be finalized, but Anchorage rules are just heating up.

The Anchorage Planning and Zoning Commission, which passes zoning recommendations to the Anchorage Assembly, wants to tone down a set of municipal land use rules that make state regulations look laidback in comparison.

Marijuana board reverses itself on residency

In an emergency meeting, the Marijuana Control Board voted unanimously on Dec. 1 to reinstate a stricter residency requirement for marijuana business licensees, following Permanent Fund Dividend rules instead of voter registration rules.

The board also tried to loosen rules to allow more access to Outside money, but public process rules will hold that discussion until the board’s next meeting in February 2016.

The regulatory package will now move to Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot for approval pending a review by the Department of Law to make sure the regulations follow statute.

Marijuana board finalizes industry regulations

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board accepted its final draft of the regulations that will govern the new industry, legalized by Ballot Measure 2 in November 2014.

The new cannabis industry regulations include a concession to marijuana clubs that still leaves a hazy legal area to be sorted out later, maintaining a ban on Outside investment while loosening the residency requirement, revisions to concentration limits, allowances for retail operations and limited cultivator licenses, and clarifications to packaging requirements.

Final regs allow Outside investment, marijuana cafes

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board accepted its final draft of the regulations that will govern the new industry, legalized by Ballot Measure 2 in November 2014.

The new cannabis industry regulations include a concession to marijuana clubs that still leaves a hazy legal area to be challenged later, a ban on Outside investment, revisions to concentration limits, allowances for retail operations and limited cultivator licenses, and clarifications to packaging requirements.

Felony cannabis cases scheduled for trial in early 2016

The State of Alaska is charging four individuals with multiple felonies after each of their cannabis operations fell to Anchorage Police Department undercover work and ensuing raids. Trials won’t be held until January and pretrial hearings will be held in November and December.

Rocky Burns, Larry Stamper, Michael Crites, and Charlene Egbe are each alleged by the state to have been operating illicit marijuana businesses in 2015, and were indicted in September.

Alaska a destination for cannabis tourists

Tourist dollars are coming, and it’s up to the Legislature and the Marijuana Control Board to maximize how many Outside greenbacks the Alaska “green rush” will rake in.

With nearly 2 million visitors per year dropping $941 per person per visit, Alaska’s $2.42 billion dollar tourism industry could be a vast revenue pool for the marijuana industry and its accompanying taxes, but draft regulations could create hurdles unless changed.

Limits on investment, clubs, potency among draft pot regs

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board released its first draft of regulation proposals for public comment on Oct. 5, speeding towards its Nov. 24 deadline.

The public will have the opportunity to provide written comments on the first regulatory draft beginning Oct. 11, and have the opportunity for public comment at the board’s Anchorage meeting Oct. 15-16.

The board will make another draft following public comment, and meet a final time on Nov. 20 to make changes before recommending the final package to the Legislature for approval on Nov. 24.

Board decides Legislature must authorize marijuana clubs

When Nov. 24 comes around, the only legal place to consume newly legal Alaska cannabis will be your home.

The Legislature will have to decide whether or not to allow cannabis social clubs in Alaska, following a highly contentious Marijuana Control Board ruling on Sept. 24 that prohibited clubs.

Marijuana Control Board finalizes first draft of regulations

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board has reached the end of an arduous first draft of proposed regulations for the cannabis industry. After another round of public comments, which will open in early October, the Legislature will have the opportunity to adopt them or change them as it sees fit.

Arizona-based Rose Law Group enters Alaska cannabis scene

The Alaska cannabis industry has a new gun in town.

Rose Law Group, an Arizona business law firm, has sent an attorney to the Last Frontier to represent marijuana industry interests, including lobbying during the 2016 legislative session.

The move is a new stage in development for Alaska cannabis businesses. Much of the current legal representation for industry leaders draws from criminal practice, rather than business.

Marijuana board to ban cannabis clubs

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board accepted draft regulatory language on Sept. 24 that would ban cannabis social clubs, unable to establish any regulations around a license type that was not specified in the ballot initiative that legalized cannabis. The existence of cannabis social clubs will now depend on the Alaska Legisature to establish the license type, informed by a planned policy statement from the board.

Marijuana board accepts cultivation draft regulations

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board met Sept. 14 in Kotzebue and Sept. 16 in Anchorage to accept the next round of draft regulations, which are to be recommended to the Legislature and approved by Nov. 24. The board focused on marijuana cultivator regulations, one of the four designated marijuana business licenses included in regulations, along with processors, retail stores, and testing facilities.

BOEM releases Hilcorp's Liberty development plan for public

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released the Hilcorp Alaska development plan for the Liberty offshore oil field on Friday.

A 60-day public comment period began with the release as one of the initial steps in a multi-year permitting process.

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