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Dunleavy crime bill may need exemption to keep recreational marijuana industry legal

2/11/19--The Alaska recreational marijuana industry could be put in legal jeopardy by one of the governor’s proposed crime bills, Senate Bill 32, unless clarifying language is added to the legislation. According to the Division of Legal and Research Services, a court construes legislation as written and a judge could interpret the language of Senate Bill 32 as superseding earlier legislation that set up the legal marijuana industry in Alaska. Read

Marijuana school suspensions more than doubled after legalization

1/11/19--Alaska's legalization of marijuana came with a huge spike in suspensions of Anchorage students for using or carrying pot at school. In the fall school semester of 2015, soon after legalization, the Anchorage School District suspended 69 students for marijuana use or possession. The same semester the next year, the number jumped to 97. In the semester that just ended, 166 students were suspended for marijuana. Read

Charlo Greene enters plea deal on 2015 marijuana charges

9/11/18--Charlo Greene, former owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club and a former Anchorage television news reporter, has entered into a plea deal with the state on charges that she illegally sold marijuana three years ago through the Alaska Cannabis Club. Read

‘Real nonsense’: Why are Alaska marijuana buyers obsessed with high potency?

9/10/18--In Alaska's cannabis stores, marijuana is often priced by its potency. Marijuana that has higher levels of THC is often called "top-shelf" by stores, and the price difference can be considerable. Yet, just because a plant tests at a high potency doesn't necessarily make it better than another, lower-testing cannabis plant, some business owners say. In fact, Alaskans' push for high-THC products may have consequences for both consumers and business owners. Read

A beginner’s guide to marijuana use in Alaska

6/28/18--Marijuana.com developed a beginners guide outlining the legalities of marijuana use in Alaska since Alaskan voters approved the Alaska Marijuana Legalization Initiative, or Measure 2, by 53 percent in November 2014, allowing adults 21 and over to cultivate, possess, and use cannabis for personal use, as well as legalizing the manufacture, sale, and possession of cannabis paraphernalia. Read

Alaska’s legalization of marijuana came with a huge spike in suspensions of Anchorage students for using or carrying pot at school

1/11/18--In the fall school semester of 2015, soon after legalization, the Anchorage School District suspended 69 students for marijuana use or possession. The same semester the next year, the number jumped to 97. In the semester that just ended, 166 students were suspended for pot. Read

Cannabis edibles manufacturer suspended by Alaska marijuana office

12/1/17--Frozen Budz, a Fairbanks-based cannabis edibles company, was suspended Friday after the state office that oversees Alaska's marijuana industry said that most of the company's products had not been tested and may contain more THC than allowed. The company was being investigated after the state says it found that the products did not undergo required testing. The business owner said the allegations were untrue. Read

There’s something fishy with Alaska’s marijuana potency testing results

11/24/17--A committee will look at issues regarding the testing of cannabis products amid inconsistency in potency results from different labs. Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, recommended a review of testing regulations, citing, among other reasons, evidence of “significant deviation” in potency-testing results of the same product by different labs. Read

Marijuana tax revenue grows again

11/1/17--Alaska is continuing to make more money from marijuana, according to new figures from the Alaska Department of Revenue. The state collected $723,757 in taxes from marijuana farms in September, according to excise tax director Kelly Mazzei. Marijuana revenue has risen every month of 2017, climbing from $107,527 collected in January. According to preliminary figures for October, Alaska could collect more than $1 million when that tally is finalized at the end of November. Read

Alaska communities weigh marijuana bans 3 years after legalization

10/2/17--Voters in two of Alaska’s major marijuana-growing communities will decide whether to ban marijuana businesses within their jurisdictions. If the proposed bans on marijuana growing, manufacturing, selling, and testing are successful, several dozen businesses would be forced to close in and around Fairbanks and in rural parts of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Read

Alaska regulators to revisit onsite marijuana use proposal

9/14/17--Alaska regulators in November plan to revisit onsite use of marijuana in cannabis shops around the state. Alaska's Marijuana Control Board has gone back and forth on the onsite consumption issue and will take up the matter at its meeting scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15 in Anchorage. Read

Pot shop clashes with tourism stores in eclectic Alaska town

8/30/17--The presence of a marijuana retail store has caused a deep divide in the town of Talkeetna, where hundreds of visitors roam the streets daily browsing in art galleries and souvenir shops housed in historic cabins. Some shop owners in this tourist town say that first marijuana retail store in Talkeetna, The High Expedition Co., could ruin the tiny town's historic atmosphere and harm business, like the eight or so stores that serve alcohol along Main Street could never do. Read

“Made in Alaska” program welcomes marijuana businesses

9/2/17--The state-sponsored “Made in Alaska” program that allows a business to use a featured logo if its products are made in the state is accepting applications from marijuana businesses. Marijuana businesses are still barred from using the official “Alaska Grown” label put on state agricultural products because that program receives federal funding, but the “Made in Alaska” program, whose label features a polar bear and a black bear, does not receive federal funding, which is why it can be opened to marijuana businesses. Read

Voters in Fairbanks, Alaska asked to decide if weed sales will continue

8/28/17--Cannabis opponents and advocates in the city of Fairbanks and the Fairbanks North Star Borough are working to push voter turnout, as voters soon will decide the legality of marijuana sales in the area. Fairbanks has become one of Alaska’s more cannabis-friendly communities, with more than a dozen active growers in the area and more on the way. Read

Odor from marijuana grow bothers neighbors

8/25/17--Neighbors offended by the smell coming from Herbal Instincts, an outdoor marijuana growing operation on Ream Lane, have gone to the state and the borough looking for relief. The pot farm is on property zoned for agricultural use. The business, owned by Cristopher Konopka and Jessica Huff, was issued an “advisory notice” that no violation of state regulation or laws warranted action by the Marijuana Control Board. State rules say little about odor from marijuana businesses. Read

Is the marijuana industry actually making money for Alaska?

8/12/17--The potential for government revenue is one argument people make in favor of commercializing marijuana. But in Alaska, is it true? Some in the marijuana industry say that the state has moved too slowly, and more money could be coming in if the process were faster. According to Cary Carrigan, executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, when the industry matures and operates at full speed, it will be dynamic, and there will be enough money coming in that it won't be a question whether Alaska should have a marijuana industry or not. Read

Marijuana control board to revisit on-site pot consumption in July

6/26/17--The Alaska Marijuana Control Board will discuss three different options for on-site marijuana consumption proposed by board members at its next meeting. Read

Fairbanks emerges as Alaska’s marijuana hub

6/11/17--So far, growers in Fairbanks have cultivated and sold about 800 pounds of marijuana and paid $444,000 to the state in taxes, records show. Fairbanks is “way ahead” of other Alaska communities, said Cary Carrigan, spokesman for the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, with some of the biggest grows, the friendliest local regulations, and the best-organized marijuana industry operators. Read

Ambiguities remain in advertising regulations for cannabis businesses

5/23/17--There’s a lot of confusion around what exactly some of the marijuana business regulations mean in Alaska, leading to missteps and accidental violations. Under the standing regulations, retail marijuana stores can’t “sell, give, distribute or offer to sell, give, distribute, or deliver marijuana or marijuana products” over the internet or as a marketing promotion, among other restrictions. The marketing promotions are tightly controlled, and have a number gray areas. Read

State orders Anchorage marijuana social club to ‘cease operating’

4/21/17--Pot Luck Events, downtown Anchorage's only marijuana social club, has been ordered to shut its doors. The facility was served a letter from the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) on Wednesday, listing six reasons why it is operating illegally in the eyes of the state and must cease operations. Read

Recreational marijuana shop opens in rural Alaska borough

3/26/17--Green Jar, the Mat-Su Borough's first recreational pot store, opened its doors near Wasilla on Saturday afternoon. According to owner Caleb Saunders, the first customers began to arrive at the store around noon, and by mid-afternoon there was a line running out the door. Saunders said it could be a struggle to keep the shelves stocked, as it is for many marijuana stories in Alaska right now. Read

What is CBD, and why it was seized from Alaska marijuana shops?

3/5/17--Cannabidiol — commonly referred to as CBD — is a chemical compound often used in pain management. On Feb. 9, enforcement officers with the state Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office seized products containing CBD — including oils, chocolate bars, and chewing gum — from 10 marijuana shops. The problem, the state says, is those products didn't follow the same seed-to-sale tracking required for marijuana under Alaska regulations. Read

Alaska regulators seize imported CBD oil in raids

2/10/17--Alaska officials raided an unspecified number of recreational cannabis shops and seized “thousands of dollars worth of imported CBD oil." A news release from the Alaska Marijuana Control Office confirmed that “several retail stores” appeared to be in violation of state laws that mandate specific testing, labeling, and packaging for marijuana products. Read

Fearful of new U.S. AG, marijuana board drops plans for cafe-style rules

2/2/19--Alaska’s marijuana control board has abandoned plans for cafe-style regulations that would have allowed marijuana to be consumed in some retail stores. Had the regulations been approved, they would have been the first of their kind in the United States. Read

Head of Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office to step down

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-10-28-20-am12/7/16--Cynthia Franklin, the director of Alaska's Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, who has overseen the rollout of legal pot in the state, is resigning effective January 6. She will be taking a position as an assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Unit. Read

This is how Alaska businesses will make marijuana tax payments

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-9-15-05-pm11/17/16--Alaska growers will soon be submitting their first marijuana tax payments to the state. Some banks are leery about dealing with pot businesses since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. So, the Department of Revenue has set up a deposit safe in downtown Anchorage where businesses can place tamper-resistant bags that will be dropped into a drum and down a chute to a safe. The state is also offering a by-mail option, as well as an option to pay electronically or by wire transfer. Read

New marijuana industry won’t change state fire code

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-12-36-51-pm11/6/16--Alaska’s Fire and Life Safety Department says that fire codes will not be changed in Alaska despite marijuana becoming legal in the state. “It hasn’t changed what we do, we still have make sure the commercial building meet building code, fire code, and mechanical code just like any other commercial building,” said Plan Review Bureau Supervisor, Diana Brooks. Read

Pot grow proposed for troubled Mat-Su gravel pit

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-59-45-am11/7/16--Denali Dispensaries is considering a marijuana grow on a Meadow Lakes property that for years housed an illegal gravel pit and debris dump that triggered a wave of community outrage. Marijuana grown there could supply the company's planned downtown Anchorage retail dispensary at the former site of the Kodiak Cafe. They're planning a facility about as large as the borough permits — about 5,000 square feet. Nearby residents say they are "extremely worried" because of the site's past. Read

Santa Claus speaks out against North Pole ban of marijuana sales

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-9-21-52-pm11/4/16--In October, North Pole voters decided not to allow commercial marijuana businesses within city limits. That decision, however, has been met with disappointment from one of the city's most famous residents: Santa Claus, formerly known as Thomas O'Connor. Santa is now speaking out against North Pole's Propostition 7, the ballot initiative that banned commercial marijuana. Read

Alaska’s first marijuana testing lab opens in Anchorage

fb-square-english-spanish10/24/16--CannTest LLC, Alaska's first marijuana testing laboratory, opened for business Monday, offering cannabis analysis for retail outlets and commercial or private growers. Read

Reporter who quit job to focus on marijuana advocacy faces jail time

fb-square-english-spanish10/3/16--Former Alaska television reporter Charlo Green, who became a viral sensation in 2014 after quitting her job to advocate for the legal use of marijuana, faces 14 offenses and 54 years in prison for allegedly running an illegal marijuana shop. Read

Reporter who quit on air to fight for pot legalization faces decades in prison

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-10-28-34-am9/29/16--Former KTVA reporter Charlo Greene is facing 14 offenses of “misconduct involving a controlled substance” for a possible 54 years in prison following a series of undercover operations and raids at her club. Pending trial of Greene raises questions about the war on drugs and could have broader legal implications as more states move towards legalization. Read

When will marijuana stores open in Alaska?

fb-square-english-spanish9/27/16--Cynthia Franklin, executive director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, says marijuana shops are merely weeks away from opening. Yet, across Alaska, testing facilities are the linchpin marijuana growers and retailers need for moving forward. Read

Alaska Legislature considers marijuana social clubs

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-8-29-36-pm9/14/16--One of the largest topics of discussion for the Senate and House Judiciary Committees during a recent meeting was the existence of marijuana social clubs, which have been operating in Alaska for the past year and a half. Social clubs opened in the wake of Alaska's initiative legalizing recreational marijuana. Read

Assemblyman calls for redo of vote on marijuana cafe ban

fb-square-english-spanish9/12/16--Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblyman Matt Cooper wants to revisit the proposed pot cafe moratorium in the city of Fairbanks,  which failed in a close vote last week.  Read

Alaska’s first marijuana retail stores OK’d by state

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-10-34-09-am9/8/16--Alaska's first marijuana retail stores and product manufacturers were approved by the state, the next step for the fledgling cannabis industry that is preparing to open for business. Read

Alaska’s government is feeling the strain with commercial marijuana

fb-square-english-spanish9/5/16--Some Alaska municipalities have many questions about rules for new marijuana businesses as the digital paperwork for new marijuana business applications just keeps rolling in. Read