Alaska Proposal Would Open Door to On-Site Consumption

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After flirting for months with permitting on-site consumption at retail cannabis stores, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board has officially proposed regulations to allow the idea to move forward.

The development comes after months of discussion on the issue. In February, following a push to permit on-site consumption, regulators voted 3-2 to reject a proposal that would have allowed it

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Since the narrow rejection, the discussion has grown increasingly contentious. Some worry the lack of a legal place to consume could hurt cannabis sales in the state, especially given Alaska’s thriving tourism industry. Others worry visitors will simply spark up somewhere else.

The proposed regulatory changes would allow dispensaries to apply for on-site consumption endorsements that would allow customers to consume cannabis products on the premises.

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Public comment is being accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 and can be submitted by email at amco.regs@alaska.gov or online through the Alaska Online Public Notice System. Written comments can be sent to the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office, at 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1600, Anchorage, AK 99501.

Written questions can also be submitted until 10 days before the public comment section closes.

Alaskan adult-use cannabis market is starting to find its groove, but sales still lag far behind the state’s original projections. From October—the first month of legal cannabis sales—through June, Alaska collected roughly $1.75 million in cannabis tax revenue—over a quarter of a million dollars less than the state had originally projected.

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