Board continues to consider cannabis café rules


Last update: April 27, 2017


Alaska’s adult regulatory system is successfully underway, and while a success, not everything has gone as smoothly as hoped. Many prospective licensees in different parts of the state have seen long delays getting through the local approval process. And the Marijuana Control Board continues to consider how best to regulate consumption outside private residences.

Thanks to the 2014 voter initiative that legalized marijuana in Alaska, adults can purchase, possess, and consume cannabis — but cannot consume it in “public.” While not defined in the voter initiative, regulatory authorities have interpreted the term very broadly, and in effect, adults cannot consume outside a private residence. However, regulators did indicate it can issue licenses that authorize businesses to allow on-site consumption. These are referred to as cannabis cafés.

Unfortunately, despite many proposed rules, the board has yet to adopt a framework. That effort is ongoing, and we hope the board will find a solution. Adults who consume cannabis should have a lawful place to go. Soon, tourist season begins in Alaska, where nearly a million visitors are expected this year. It is essential that Alaska adopt rules to allow these individuals to consume at a regulated location, not in places like sidewalks, parks, and alleys. If you have not done so already, please contact members of the board today and make sure they hear from you in support of on-site consumption rules.

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