Get yo rec pants on, Alaska! Your time has come and that day is today! Alaska is now officially the third state to have legal recreational cannabis.
In case you’ve been living under a rock since last November (or in a remote cave, or in the woods in a cabin without electricity – hey, it’s Alaska, anything is possible), Alaska’s public voted to legalize and regulate cannabis like alcohol with 52% of the vote. Since then, the Alaska legislature has been scrambling to come up with regulations for sale and enforcement before the program's debut date. Thus far, they’ve introduced Senate Bill 60 to create the Marijuana Control Board, housed under the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, as outlined in the original text. Another proposed measure, Senate Bill 30, would remove cannabis as a controlled substance under Alaska statutes and prove to be another big step for cannabis in the state.
As the original legislation outlined, once the law goes into effect, Alaska’s board has nine months to adopt regulations to make implementation happen. Another kink in the plans is a one-year moratorium on any recreational shops opening in Juneau, Alaska, so it might be a while before Juneau sees any legal cannabis. My condolences to the good folks of Juneau.
The question on everyone’s lips: Where can we get legal cannabis? Well, unfortunately, currently there are no recreational shops right now and there won’t be any until the regulations are in place. Give it nine months or so — these things take time before coming to sweet, sweet fruition. (And we’ll probably see more changes to the law before the end of that period, too. Don't worry – it's worth the wait!)
All that being said, congratulations, Alaska! It is officially legal to cultivate, possess, and consume cannabis for recreational purposes! (And if you were already consuming and possessing cannabis in the privacy of your own home, keep doing what you’re doing.)