From Rhode Island to Alaska, banks are still causing headaches for the cannabis industry

Federal marijuana prohibition impacts everyone in the newly legal field, from nationwide firms down to individuals simply trying to make a living in the sector.


Alaska marijuana regulators to again review on-site use

Alaska regulators, once on the cusp of allowing on-site use of marijuana at authorized retail stores, plan to take another run at the issue this week.

The Marijuana Control Board is scheduled to discuss proposed rules for allowing on-site consumption, but whether the board will reach a final conclusion isn't clear.

The board is down one member; Travis Welch resigned less than two months after his appointment to the public safety seat after being dismissed from his job as a police chief. The board's director has recommended that the panel put the draft rules out for public comment.

The board is scheduled to meet in Nome for three days, starting today.


Wells Fargo forces closure of Alaska marijuana lab, only 2 remaining in state

One of Alaska’s three marijuana testing labs has been shut down by Wells Fargo bank, leaving the state’s growers with only two options for state-mandated testing.

In a social media post Thursday morning, testing lab Steep Hill of Anchorage declared, “We are sorry to announce that Steep Hill Alaska will be suspending cannabis testing operations on March 31, 2018.

We have to relocate because Wells Fargo called in the loan on our building. They will foreclose if we do not move out — just because we are a cannabis business!”


Alaska taking a stand against threat of federal cannabis crackdown

State legislators send a clear message to the Trump administration.

Bipartisan support for marijuana policy is virtually unheard of.

But a unanimous vote in favor of upholding citizens’ right to legal cannabis? It’s so rare as to be almost mythical.

Yet that’s exactly what happened in the Alaska House on Monday, where state legislators voted unanimously to demand that the federal government stop trying to enforce federal cannabis law there. With Alaska taking a stand against threat of federal cannabis crackdown, will other states follow suit?

Alaska To Feds: Respect State Regulation Of Marijuana


Legal weed states consider ‘sanctuary’ legislation to protect cannabis industry from feds

California, Massachusetts, and Alaska are moving to protect state-legal marijuana businesses from the long arm of Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department.

Since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked Obama-era federal protections for state-legal cannabis businesses in January of this year, the country’s legal weed industry has been waiting for the other shoe to finally drop.


Alaska and Missouri advance legislation to legalize hemp farming

If the two states pass their bills, they’ll become the 35th and 36th states to legalize hemp cultivation.

Hemp has been cultivated by cultures around the world for millennia, grown for its strong fibers and used to make clothing, fuel, paper, rope, and many other of life’s necessities. But hemp cultivation in the U.S. was put to an end in the early 20th century, when the federal government prohibited the cultivation of cannabis, which includes both hemp and marijuana, even though hemp itself isn’t psychoactive.


Wholesale marijuana taxes frustrate Alaska growers

Taxes on wholesale marijuana are frustrating Alaska cannabis growers.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports some Alaska growers are calling for a reform, as the cannabis supply in the state increases and wholesale prices decline.

The drop in wholesale prices is good for consumers because the retail price of marijuana also is dropping. But some retailers say prices in general have gone from $20 or more per gram to about $18 per gram.

The tax on marijuana sold to retailers by the growers remains $50 per ounce. That's $800 per pound for marijuana bud and $260 per pound for the rest of the plant.


Marijuana tax collections increasing in Alaska

The state of Alaska collected $726,000 in marijuana taxes for the month of September.

Kelly Mazzei, excise tax supervisor for the state's tax division, said that number is greater than August numbers and considerably higher than in July.

"We're really climbing steadily in this fiscal year," Mazzei said. "One way of looking at it is all of last fiscal year we collected $1.7 million. And in three months, we're already close to $2 million in collections – just three months into the fiscal year."


Cannabis prices higher in Alaska

While residents who voted for the legalization of marijuana in Alaska were victorious in the polls, the price of buying legal cannabis has proved to be a turnoff for some consumers.

“I think dispensaries are utilizing their monopoly on legal weed,” said Hannah Seaman, a 24-year-old electrical engineer major, who voted for the legalization. “It is more economical to buy it from people who aren’t organized by the government.”


Alaska marijuana sales break records for sixth straight month

State expects another record high to come when September figures arrive

On the same day that voters in Kenai and Fairbanks enthusiastically cast votes supporting Alaska’s legal marijuana industry, the Alaska Department of Revenue reported new record-high sales.


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