Social consumption of cannabis is a topic that is continually talked about in both marijuana industry and policy and an issue the Alaska Marijuana Control Board has been tasked with. Both Portland and Denver are working hard to pioneer this space, but neither of these cities has gotten to a space where a program is fully rolled out.
However, Alaska is trying to change that.
The Alaska Marijuana Control Board in was recently expected to consider whether to move forward with proposed rules for allowing retail cannabis customers to consume their purchases on site, something that no other state that has legalized the recreational use of pot has allowed. Unfortunately, discussions about onsite marijuana consumption have been delayed until next month by Alaska marijuana regulators.
Kim Kole is the Owner/Founder of Raspberry Roots, which will be a fully integrated cultivation, manufacturing, and retail in Anchorage, Alaska.
Kole has been very active in following the roll out of this policy. and explained that the Alaska Marijuana Control Board had to delay the discussion and creation of onsite consumption regulations because there were so many potential licenses to be approved on the 2 day agenda.
"Unlike Colorado and Oregon, Alaska is starting this industry from scratch, so we didn't have any cultivations, manufacturers, or retails established. This, coupled with onerous regulations in the municipality of Anchorage (by far the largest city) is why our roll out has been particularly slow. Demand far exceeds supply, so it's imperative for the viability of the industry to get as many cultivators up and running before our tourist season starts in a couple of months. The Board did approve an additional meeting in May to address more cultivations and onsite regulations in time for the influx of people this summer."
Kole also commented, “It is essential that people have a place to consume cannabis for so many reasons. Some people cannot consume in their apartments due to lease agreements, while others would prefer to not smoke in front of their young children. Patients in these situations need a safe, comfortable location to take their medication, while those who consume cannabis instead of alcohol shouldn’t be penalized or marginalized for making the safer choice. This is a needed step toward the normalization of cannabis.”
“They really wanted to focus on approved applications at this meeting so people could get started with their businesses as we move into summer,” said Erika McConnell, director of the [Alaska] Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board. “Onsite consumption was kind of the big time-consuming issue that they pushed until the end and then we ran out of time.”
McConnell said there are three proposals put forth by three members of the board. She said those members will need to discuss all three and decide if they want to move forward with one of them.