Alaska Marijuana Regulators Approve First Licenses

Alaska regulators were applauded Thursday as they approved the first licenses for legal marijuana growing and testing facilities — another milestone for the fledgling industry.

Priority was being given to growing and testing operations to ensure that retail stores will have legal product to sell. The first retail licenses are expected to be issued later this year.

Thirty applications were on the agenda Thursday at a meeting of the Marijuana Control Board in Anchorage. Two were for testing facilities. The rest were for grow operations.

The first application approved came from CannTest LLC of Anchorage, a marijuana testing facility. The action was greeted by applause and cheers.

“That’s history right there, folks,” board member Brandon Emmett said.


Alaska could begin approving marijuana business applications Thursday

On Thursday, the state will meet to begin approving marijuana licenses for cultivation and testing facilities. There are 30 potential businesses up for review, including Arctic Herbery in Anchorage.

Real estate agent Bryant Thorp hopes to open the small boutique grow operation on Arctic Boulevard near 71st Avenue. For many, the dream of opening a marijuana business in Alaska has been years in the making, which is why Thorp made sure to get his application in early.


Is State-Legal Marijuana Creating 'Big Marijuana'?

I recently did a TEDx talk on the development of “Big Marijuana.” The overall theme of this particular TED session was the “Potential in Polarity,” and/or the “Best of Both Worlds.” Given these two themes, my talk focused on whether state-legal marijuana is helping to create “Big Marijuana.” My talk was released on YouTube last week and you can view it here. But for those of you who don’t want to spend 18 minutes watching my presentation, this post summarizes my talk.


Cannabis convention controversy: The 'free' samples that cost $299

The second Northwest Cannabis Classic trade show at the Dena‘ina Civic and Convention Center over the weekend had plenty of free giveaways, including marijuana leaf stickers and lighters. A few exhibitor booths even had edibles suchas candies and cookies.

But they wouldn’t get you high.

"These aren’t infused,” said Martin Christensen of the Oracle Cookie Company, pointing at the elaborately flavored cookies he had laid out for convention attendees to try. “The cops actually came over and asked me, ‘Are these infused?’ ”

Anchorage Police Department Sgt. Josh Nolder and two other officers walked the convention floor to make sure pot wasn't being consumed, bought or sold.


Alaska marijuana regulators mull rules for pot use at licensed stores

Alaska marijuana regulators are meeting to consider draft rules for allowing use of marijuana in some businesses that will sell pot.

Under the plan, Alaska would become the first state in the nation to allow customers to consume marijuana products at authorized retail stores.

The first marijuana businesses aren't expected to be licensed until September — near the end of cruise ship season and a bit too late to cash in on tourism this year.

The regulations are expected to be discussed near the end of Wednesday's meeting of the Marijuana Control Board in Anchorage. Any recommendations would be subject to public comment.

No licenses have been issued yet for retail marijuana shops.


Identity Matters: Will Alaska's Cannabis Entrepreneurs Sell 'Marijuana,' 'Ganja' or 'Pot'?

More than two years ago, Leif Abel sat around a table with his brother and his father and a list of about 50 possible names for the marijuana cultivation business they wanted to start in Kasilof.

After considering whether to take on an image that clearly sends a message about cannabis or perhaps something more discreet, they landed on the name Greatland Ganja and a logo that prominently features a cannabis leaf.

“We’re proud of what we’re doing,” Abel said. “We’re trying to project a culture of openness and acceptance of people within this subculture that is coming into main society.”


Seeing green: More banks willing to deal with legal marijuana businesses

As more states contemplate legalizing recreational marijuana, the businesses that pop up are going to need banking solutions. Fortunately for them, more US banks are becoming willing to dabble in the cannabis trade.

Over the last two years, the number of banks and credit unions open to dealing with marijuana businesses has increased by almost six times, the Associated Press reported, citing federal data. Back in March of 2014, only 51 banks and credit unions in the country were willing to deal with cash from pot businesses, but the number now stands at 301.


These Are All The States That Have Legalized Weed

This year alone there have already been more than 50 legislative initiatives around the country aimed at legalizing or decriminalizing medical or recreational marijuana. 


Flowhub in the PCMag Start-Up Spotlight

The cannabis industry made $5.4 billion in 2015. Legally. That's $5.4 billion worth of businesses growing and cultivating plants, processing and shipping products, and selling marijuana, cannabis oil, and all manner of edibles at dispensaries. That figure is forecast to hit $22.8 billion by 2020 according to the latest State of Legal Marijuana Markets Report from ArcView Market Research and cannabis-focused data analysis firm, New Frontier.


Marijuana Could Have a Surprising Economic Impact, New Report Shows

Yesterday we witnessed the release of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a highly anticipated movie depicting an unstoppable force and the proverbial immovable object. But what many people might overlook is that we've been witnessing a real-life battle for years beyond the confines of the movie theater between a seemingly unstoppable force known as marijuana, and the federal government which has maintained its position as the immovable object.


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