There have been underground medical marijuana outlets and clubs for awhile now in Alaska. Alaska is like most other medical marijuana states where such entities existed, operating in what some describe as a ‘grey area’ of the law, while others call it a blatant disregard for the law. Now that recreational marijuana has been legalized in Alaska, some Alaska marijuana establishments have received ‘cease and desist’ orders demanding that they halt operations until marijuana business licenses are issued. Per the Frontiersman:
Two local marijuana-related businesses were among six that received cease-and-desist orders from the state this week.
Northern Heights LLC, a “cannabis-friendly” hookah lounge, and Discreet Deliveries, a business offering marijuana for sale and delivery, both based in the Mat-Su Borough along Bogard Road, joined businesses from Kenai and Anchorage on the list. The certified letters mailed to property owners were a follow-up to phone conversations on the subject, which alleged both businesses violated Alaska statute, according to the letters.
The cease-and-desist letters threatened “enforcement action” ranging “from criminal penalties to civil fines, tax penalties and prohibition from receiving an actual marijuana license when they become available in 2016,” the letter states.
What’s happening in Alaska is not uncommon. I have seen the same thing happen in Oregon, and have heard of it happening in Washington, Michigan, and many other states. On one hand I don’t think that marijuana sales should be prohibited, but on the other hand I am always hesitant when I see people jumping the gun and starting sales before regulations and licenses are in place. I don’t ever want to tell someone that they can’t sell marijuana, especially to patients, but they run a lot of risk in doing so. Hopefully licenses get issued sooner than later and this whole potential showdown ends.