Legal Marijuana Hasn't Caused Any Of The Problems Opponents Said It Would

When Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, opponents of the measures warned that ending the longstanding prohibition on weed would wreak havoc on society. The fiscal benefits associated with taxed and regulated marijuana wouldn’t be worthwhile, they said, because more children would end up using the drug and high drivers would terrorize the roadways.


Alaska marijuana sales close, pending opening of test labs

Alaska is nearing its first legal sales of marijuana, nearly two years after voters approved the recreational use of pot by adults.

Retails stores are being permitted by the state Marijuana Control Board, and just a few hurdles remain until commercial sales begin.

The biggest obstacle is waiting for labs to test the raw product. Two labs have been licensed by the state, both in Anchorage.

One of those, CannTest, should be open by mid- to late October, said co-owner Mark Malagodi. The facility is awaiting final inspection from the municipality and state and final approval from an accrediting lab.

"If we're going to start testing by definitely the beginning of November, I think it rolls in pretty well with everything else," he said.


Alaska OKs marijuana, but some communities ban pot commerce

Alaskans two years ago approved recreational use of marijuana. That doesn't mean they want it sold in their towns.

Voters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, a municipality just larger than the state of West Virginia, and one renowned for a potent strain of black market pot, on Tuesday will consider a ban on commercial enterprises that sell, grow or test cannabis. Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula Borough and other Alaska municipalities will put the matter to a vote next year.

Former Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss pushed for a vote to ban commercial cannabis enterprises. Recreational marijuana may have been approved statewide, he said, but not in his borough.


News Roundup: Alaska's First Legal Cannabis Harvest Just Began. It's Already Stalled.

U.S. News Updates


Alaska’s first commercial cannabis harvests are underway. The first official legal crop comes from Greatland Ganja, a small cultivator on the Kenai Peninsula. Greatland has harvested about 75 pounds of cannabis so far, of an expected total of about 100 pounds consisting of 10 different strains. Unfortunately, however, the first harvest may not have anywhere to go. Distribution and sales are stalled until state-licensed testing laboratories are up and running. At the moment two labs are nearing completion in Anchorage: CannTest hopes to open by mid-October and AK Green Labs aims to be online by early November.



Reporter who quit on air to fight for cannabis legalization could face prison

Charlo Greene did not plan to curse on live television, but on 22 September 2014, the words came pouring out.

Then a reporter for KTVA, a station in Alaska, Greene ended her segment on marijuana by revealing that she was a proponent of legalization – and was the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, the subject of her news report.

“Fuck it, I quit,” she said, before abruptly walking off camera. The 26-year-old’s stunt shocked her colleagues and made her a viral sensation overnight.


MAP: See where legal marijuana will be sold around Alaska

Alaska is likely just weeks away from the state’s first legal marijuana sales, according to Cynthia Franklin, the Director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control office.

As of Sept. 28, there are 34 marijuana businesses listed in “active status” for their licenses. These businesses are some of the closest to operating under the new regulations, but are still subject to credentialing and preliminary inspections, according to the state’s website. Once the businesses are able to operate, they’ll move into “effective status.”

See the location of those businesses in the interactive map below:



Alaska regulators OK 1st retail licence for marijuana products

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

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 the shop by Oct. 1.


The Latest: Alaska delays on pot use in marijuana stores

Alaska marijuana regulators have delayed by at least another month a decision on allowing people to buy marijuana products to smoke, inhale or consume in food in authorized stores.

The Marijuana Control Board has wrestling with the issue since last year. But board member Loren Jones said Wednesday that he wanted more time to consider it.

The matter was tabled until next month's meeting, over the objections of the board's two industry members.

The board is in unchartered territory. The three other states that have legalized recreational marijuana ban its public use, including in pot stores.


Alaska Regulators Set to Approve Marijuana Retail Licences

The board regulating Alaska's fledgling legal marijuana industry is expected to approve licenses this week for the state's first retail marijuana outlets.

The Marijuana Control Board is expected to consider dozens of license applications for marijuana businesses and discuss the key issue of whether certain retail stores will be allowed to have areas on their premises where consumers could light up.

Alaska's first marijuana retail shops are expected to open by the end of 2016.

But the board is trying to find a way to accommodate tourists interested in partaking in legal marijuana who otherwise are prohibited from using marijuana in public.


50 Shades of Weed: Juneau's Cannabis Growers Are Planning Variety on Store Shelves

You know wine. You’re about to learn cannabis.

Earlier this month, Rainforest Farms became Juneau’s first working cannabis farm. Among its 240-some plants are 55 different varieties of pot. Two other Juneau farms have applied for licenses, and four other farms have started the licensing process, according to records kept by the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.

By the end of October, when retail sales are expected to begin, consumers will be confronted with dozens of different cannabis options. For connoisseurs, it promises to be a buffet of choice. For the rest of us, it’s cause for curiosity. Isn’t weed … well, weed?


Subscribe to RSS - Alaska