After almost a year of waiting and eager anticipation, it’s happened. Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board regulators approved two retail applications. They issued permits for on-site recreational cannabis consumption with a vote of 3-2.
The first approved application and license was awarded to GoodSinse LLC in Fairbanks. The business plans to open in the summer. The owners plan to model their interior after a brewery tasting room and invite customers to consume cannabis in a variety of ways, from smoking and vaping to eating edible treats and enjoying cannabis-infused beverages — all up to the state limit of one gram per day.
Cannabis Corner, located in Ketchikan, is one of the two retail shops approved to offer on-site use. The small town in southeast Alaska is frequented by cruise ships during the summer months. Co-owner Ayme Zanuta said in an interview that tour companies had shown interest in bringing tourists to her business. Their goal is to open the on-site consumption part of the industry in February.
A few cities in other states, like California and Illinois, have also issued municipal licenses that allow for on-site marijuana consumption, Alaska is the first to provide state approval. Marijuana regulators in Colorado are currently working through coordinating rules regarding proposed ‘marijuana hospitality spaces.’ Massachusetts regulators are following suit, rolling out a unique pilot program that would allow on-site cannabis consumption facilities in up to twelve self-selected cities across the state.
Alaska’s marijuana stores will be part of the pioneering first in the nation where on-site use is allowed. But there are still rules to abide by. The state’s laws for on-site marijuana consumption require those areas to be separated from the rest of the property. The facility must also have a ventilation system separate from the rest of the building, or allow consumption outdoors. Other stipulations require smoke-free areas where employees can monitor customer’s use, and customers cannot bring in outside products, i.e., consume what you’ve purchased from the business at the business.