Alaska became the fourth state to legalize marijuana when voters approved an initiative on Election Day 2014. Alaska joined Oregon, which also legalized marijuana earlier on Election Day 2014, along with Colorado and Washington. The logical question that is being asked is, ‘when do legal marijuana sales start?’ Marijuana Business Daily gives a great breakdown:
Election results probably won’t be certified until about Nov. 28 after the remaining 40,000 ballots are counted and legalization is confirmed, according to KTUU news in Anchorage. Once that happens, it will take another 90 days for the initiative that passed on Nov. 4 (Ballot Measure 2) to take effect.
The state’s alcohol and beverage control board will then need about nine months to figure out rules and regulations, such as how many licenses it will allow and what requirements should be attached to those licenses.
The application process is expected to begin in November 2015, and it will likely take several months for the state to select winners.
Assuming everything goes smoothly, legal marijuana sales should roll out in Spring of 2016. Alaska may experience some delays, similar to the delays experienced in Washington State, because they don’t have a regulation framework in place for medical marijuana that they can build on. Colorado was able to roll out sales much faster than Washington because they already had a regulation framework in place for medical marijuana that they largely built on for recreational sales.