First business in Alaska approved for onsite cannabis consumption

Published: Jan. 24, 2020 at 2:35 PM AKST
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Alaska pot shops will be among the first nationally where onsite use would be permitted. The Marijuana Control Board approved the applications on 3-2 votes.

On Thursday, regulators in Juneau approved the first retail stores in the state that will be allowed to have customers smoke marijuana or consume cannabis products on the property.

According to the Associated Press, Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project says that while some cities in other states have approved such actions, Alaska's are the first state-issued approvals.

GoodSinse LLC of Fairbanks was the first retail store to be approved for onsite consumption.

Daniel Peters, owner of GoodSinse, says this approval has been a long time coming.

“As some people know about the industry, it’s been getting kicked down the road as far as onsite consumption is concerned -- and we’ve been all waiting for them to finally land on some regulation. Now that they’ve been drafted and enacted, we just went ahead and met all the requirements necessary, and it looks like we were lucky enough to be the first.”

Peters says this approval is significant for the state and for business. "I'm certain this will be a popular thing. For my business it means a lot more work obviously, but we're going to have a lot of happy customers because we hear it all the time, how they just can't wait until we're able to have the lounge."

Community members like Vivian Stiver, a concerned citizen with Safe Neighborhoods of Fairbanks, say onsite consumption is a health concern for cannabis industry employees, as well as a concern for the safety of the Fairbanks community. "So here we are, a community that said we wanted good places for people to work that had good paying jobs, but not have to be in an environment where there was smoke that could be unhealthy. And again an intoxicant, whether its alcohol or cannabis [while] driving, that's a big concern. So I hope that the city has prepared themselves."

The Alcohol Marijuana Control Office says onsite consumption will go into effect upon licensing approval. This means businesses like GoodSinse LLC must pass an inspection of the facility before onsite consumption will be allowed.

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