Although Alaska voters legalized marijuana back in 2014, many Alaskans find themselves limited by criminal histories that remain frozen in time, even as states continue to update cannabis laws.
In 2019, Sen. Tom Begich introduced SB 8, which would help protect individuals who got in trouble when laws were different. The Alaska Legislature reconvened on January 21 for the second half of its two-year session, and SB 8 is still pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please ask your lawmakers to support this sensible reform.
Alaska lawmakers have a chance to stop derailing lives for some old cannabis convictions. Criminal records can make it difficult to get a job, housing, or further one’s education. Many Alaskans are still haunted by records for conduct that is now legal.
SB 8’s record sealing would apply to those who were not charged with any other type of offense and would be limited to marijuana cases involving less than an ounce.
Alaska officially first state to license onsite cannabis consumption
After taking time to clarifiy aspects of the state regulations related to onsite consumption, on January 23, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board approved the first businesses that will be permitted to offer onsite use of cannabis products in the state. GoodSinse LLC in Fairbanks and Cannabis Corner in Ketchikan were the first two businesses to be approved for onsite consumption endorsements.
Retail businesses interested in participating must apply for a special onsite use endorsement and devise plans that meet security, ventilation, and other standards required by the Marijuana Control Board. Local governments can object to onsite consumption endorsements and use a municipal ordinance or a vote of the people to prohibit onsite use or aspects of it, such as smoking.
Stay tuned for further updates on Alaska's legal cannabis industry.
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