Marijuana is proving to be a profitable crop for Alaska

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It's been nearly two years since AK Frost opened its doors as one of the licensed stores where you can legally buy marijuana in Alaska and business is booming.

"I would say it's jumped probably about 100% since we opened," said AK Frost Manager Robin Jester. "The first week, maybe 10 customers, and now we have maybe 50 customers an hour."

April 20, known as 420, one of the busiest days of the year for the shop, has just passed, but marijuana has proven to be a profitable crop in the state year-round — and not just at AK Frost.

The Alaska Department of Revenue says it collected over $1.5 million in taxes from marijuana sales in February 2019, the most recent month on record. That's not far from double the $878,412 taken during the same month last year. In the 2019 fiscal year so far, the state has collected more than $12.3 million in taxes from marijuana sales.

You can buy marijuana at licensed stores around Alaska, but you can't use it there. At least, not yet.

Later this year, Alaska will become the first state in the nation to allow on-site consumption. The state’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board approved it by a 3-2 vote last December.

AK Frost is considering on-site consumption, but does not believe it will increase business.

"Honestly, I don't think it'll do that much just because there are going to be so many regulations and everything," Jester said.

 
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