Anchorage Alaska Presses Legislators For Cannabis Consumption in Dispensaries

Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection


July 11, 2017 – In an unprecedented move yesterday, the Anchorage Assembly passed a resolution calling on the state legislature to allow cannabis smoking at dispensaries. A proposal that would have allowed such consumption failed to clear the Alaska Marijuana Control Boards. The board will be addressing the issue at this weeks scheduled meeting in Fairbanks.

Cannabis industry representatives have argued that people who want to use cannabis while visiting Alaska have difficulty since most public accommodations, like hotels and home rentals, typically are banned from consumption on the premises. Also, medical marijuana patients sometimes are in a similar situation, where they need to medicate and cannot at their own residence since cannabis consumption is not allowed.

The decision is not likely to be implemented until 2018. The board allows a 30 day public comment period before they can make a final decision on the route they will take. There are 3 proposals under consideration currently. The Alaska Journal reports:

• Scenario 1: You walk into an establishment where it’s okay to smoke marijuana. There are no pool tables, no dart games, no televisions. Just couches or chairs and coffee tables for a social ambiance. “This space is to try marijuana or a marijuana product and then to leave,” according to board member Loren Jones’ proposal.

• Scenario 2: You walk into an establishment where it’s okay to eat cannabis products such as candy, cookies, brownies, etc. But it’s not okay to “inhale” or smoke marijuana on the premises under the proposal by Solodtna Police Chief and board Chair Peter Mlynarik.

• Scenario 3: You walk into an establishment where it’s okay to smoke and eat cannabis products. Similar to rules governing bars, employees watch for people who over imbibe. Consuming marijuana not purchased at the location is prohibited. To mitigate second-hand smoke and odor the facility must invest in a good ventilation system under the proposal by member Brandon Emmett.

Board members are torn over the proposals to allow on-site consumption. At least one member fears that too many tourists might get high when then are visiting Alaska cities.

“We don’t want a million people getting off of cruise ships in Juneau saying it’s great that they went to half of the stores and were able to smoke marijuana,” Board member Mark Springer said during a previous board meeting.


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Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at

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