Alaska voters approved recreational marijuana legalization and regulation during the 2014 Election. Alaska joined Oregon and Washington D.C. who also voted to legalize in 2014, and Colorado and Washington who voted to legalize in 2012. The proposed rules that will govern the recreational marijuana industry in Alaska were released yesterday. Below are some of the provisions found in the proposal, via Alaska Dispatch News:
• Three types of cultivation licenses: standard, for a business operating with 500 or more square feet of marijuana plants; limited, for a business with less than 500 square feet of plants; and a broker license, which provides the “essential business functions” of a limited marijuana cultivation facility.
• Each facility would need an inventory tracking system, and each plant that is 8 inches tall would need a tracking number.
• Packaging would be required to be childproof, without any sort of images, including cartoon characters, that “target individuals under the age of 21.” All packaging would be opaque, so the product would not be visible.
• THC limits on edibles would be 50 milligrams per package and 5 milligrams per serving.
• Marijuana testing facilities would each need to employ a “scientific director” who has both academic and post-degree laboratory experience in chemical and biological sciences.
• Marijuana social clubs would be prohibited.
The proposed rules are not sitting well with many people in Alaska. People in Alaska feel that the rules were copied from other states without considering the unique characteristics of Alaska. I have long told people that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ set of marijuana regulations. What works in Colorado may not work in Alaska, and what may work in Alaska may not work in Oregon. States can use other states’ rules and regulations as a guide, but they have to be altered in a way that they fit into each state’s culture, nuances, etc.. Alaska is especially different from other states. Public comment is being taken at this time, and final rules are expected to be adopted in late November.