Do Alaska Cannabis Regulations Allow For Chefs To Get In The Game?

ALASKA:  Shawn, a chef (and expert punster), wonders whether Alaska cannabis regulators have considered his industry as they’re setting the initial boundaries of the legal market.

“I would like to know how they plan to address edibles and establishments that sell them. Are they going to allow a restaurant or dinner club that is an adult atmosphere like a bar, 21 and over, to serve cannabis-infused foods? I’m a chef and I think that we should have opportunity to stake our claim in this ‘budding’ marijuana industry.”

The regulation process is ongoing and regulators are still seeking public input on the draft rules issued so far, so things are a bit fluid at the moment. But it appears that no, Alaska’s current draft regulations don’t take into account the range of likely scenarios involving chefs and the things they might use cannabis for. But that’s not unusual among legalized states. Restaurants haven’t yet been able to go for broke without risk or gray area anywhere in the US.


Alaska Grown: Should All Marijuana Entrepreneurs Be Alaska Residents?

ALASKA:  Marijuana industry advocates are crying foul about a residency clause in Alaska’s draft marijuana regulations that would require all business owners and investors to be Alaska residents.

With the deadline for crafting Alaska marijuana regulations just three months away, the Marijuana Control Board must decide whether the requirement — which board member Brandon Emmett said “basically crushes the American dream” — is the best choice for a fledgling market teeming with risk.

Current draft rules read like this: Anyone who wants a marijuana business license, whether an individual, partnership, limited liability company or corporation, must be an Alaska resident. That includes every corporate shareholder and partner. Only a licensee may have a “direct or indirect financial interest,” and all licensees must be Alaska residents.

What’s The Status Of Alaska’s Rules On Cannabis Concentrates?

ALASKA:  Well, Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board has released the third package of proposed regulations and held meetings in Anchorage on Monday and Tuesday. Regulators heard feedback and discussed the rules taking shape for Alaska’s legal cannabis industry. Today, we’ll look at a question related to some of those rules under development.

“Fishboy from Juneau” asks: “Will extracts like BHO (Butane Hash Oil) and shatter be available for us Alaskans? What do the laws look like surrounding concentrates?”

It appears at this point that, yes, concentrates like those will be available for Alaskans once the licenses to produce, test and sell them are granted. But some discussion remains before the final rules take shape, and no one’s been licensed yet. As we’ve learned previously, home production of concentrates for personal use is restricted in several localities to non-solvent-based extraction methods that lack the potential for fire or explosion, so recreational consumers will have to wait for the legal availability of the sophisticated products Fishboy identifies.


Marijuana Control Board Weighs Business Ownership, Investment Rules

ALASKA:  Should Alaskans be the only ones allowed to invest in marijuana businesses? What distance should be mandated between a school and a marijuana establishment?

In downtown Anchorage Tuesday, the Marijuana Control Board grappled with these questions as it reviewed the second set of draft regulations, working through each article in turn, and often focusing on areas that had spurred the most public comment.

Tuesday’s meeting was more subdued than the day before, when five businesses that had received cease-and-desist orders spoke out against any actions the state may take to shut them down. On Tuesday, markedly fewer people were in attendance, with around 20 audience members sitting through the meeting.

Ban On Alaska Pot Clubs Among Proposed Marijuana Control Board Regulations

ALASKA:  The Marijuana Control Board on Monday laid out its most comprehensive set of draft regulations yet for Alaska’s fledgling cannabis industry, including a proposal that would ban marijuana social clubs, even as owners of existing clubs spoke out against any actions by the state that would shutter their doors.

The newly created board is holding a two-day meeting at the Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage, and heard Monday morning from business owners who had been sent cease-and-desist letters by the state.

“We’re not criminal actors,” Green Rush Events co-owner Corey Rorem told the board.

Five of the six businesses that were sent letters testified to a packed room that held about 70 audience members. Only representatives from the Alaska Cannabis Club did not attend.

Marijuana Businesses Clash With Law Enforcement Ahead Of Legalization

ALASKA:  Owners of a marijuana delivery company claim that Anchorage police officers are stealing from them, taking their cars and all the cash and pot inside.

Tuesday evening near Lake Otis Parkway and Dowling Road, APD seized another car from Absolutely Chronic Delivery Company.

“I just want them to leave us alone,” said Nicole Meyer-Crites, co-owner of ACDC. According to Meyer-Crites this is the third time such a seizure has occurred.

ACDC is a marijuana delivery company; cannabis is donated, but there is a $10 charge for the delivery service.


Trade Group Formed To Promote Legal Marijuana In Alaska

ALASKA:  A trade association has been created to promote the nascent legal marijuana business in Alaska.

Four of the five board members of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association held a news conference Thursday in Anchorage to discuss the group’s formation; the event was teleconferenced. State records show the group received status as a nonprofit corporation in late April. The goal was to announce shortly after that, but those involved have been busy working at the local level to help set up the industry, board member and vice president Brandon Emmett said in explaining the timing of Thursday’s announcement.

According to information provided by the group, each of the five members on the founding board of directors plans to become marijuana business owners once licenses become available from the state. Membership in the organization will be open to individuals and businesses working in or associated with the legal pot industry in the state. The board is expected to grow to 11 members as the industry develops to allow for representation of a larger cross-section, members said.


That’s Not Mistletoe … North Pole Won’t Block Pot Sales

ALASKA:  North Pole residents can put marijuana on their Christmas list next year.

The city council in North Pole, Alaska, rejected a measure Monday that would have banned marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana became legal in Alaska in February, and sales begin next year.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported even Santa Claus — yes, that’s his real name — testified in favor of selling pot in this Christmas-themed town, where light poles resemble candy canes.

Claus said he is medical marijuana patient, and he’d like to buy pot in North Pole instead of making the short drive to Fairbanks.

Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility Shuts Down In Anchorage After State Warning

ALASKA:  A medical marijuana facility in Anchorage shut its doors Monday after the state warned that it would take enforcement action against the business.

AK Hydro Gardens closed on Monday morning, owner Ryan Smith said.

The company billed itself as a medical marijuana cultivation center. Medical marijuana cardholders would apply to have their plants grown in the Anchorage facility, and would pay a membership fee for the business to maintain their plants.


Northern Lights: An Alaskan TV Grow Show

ALASKA:  Brothers James and Giono Barrett have had a dream to be the purveyors of quality marijuana for the community of Sitka, Alaska for years. And now – since the passing of Ballot Measure 2 in November, which legalized cannabis for recreational sale – that dream has not only become a reality, it’s becoming a reality TV show as well.

The focus of the new reality show, “Get Growing Alaska,” will document the Barretts as they navigate the trials and tribulations of expanding their relatively small marijuana grow business into a large-scale manufacturing site under the wild backdrop of an Alaskan frontier town.

In an episode of “Get Growing Alaska,” the partners discuss with Cannabis Now editors their first steps to acquire a 5,000 square-foot production facility and become a main supplier of marijuana for the state. They also talk about the small steps they’ll take toward helping to normalize the use of cannabis in the Sitka community.

“We had a really great interview with the local newspaper in town, the Daily Sitka Sentinel, and I think the community was able to see who we are,” says James Barrett, co-founder of Rainforest Farms. “People were able to put faces to the names and see we are a couple of regular guys.”