What Happened The Day Alaska Joined The Recreational Revolution

Alaska has approved the state’s first licenses for the legal growth of cannabis, yet another monumental day for the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

Jun 14, 2016

Regulators in Alaska on Thursday approved the state’s first licenses for the legal growth and testing of cannabis, marking another monumental day for the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

The licenses

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Testing and growth operations were given higher priority by the Marijuana Control Board (MCB) –located in the state’s capital of Anchorage– to ensure that retail outlets will not be short on products when the time comes. (Just how much will be needed has yet to be determined.)

The very first application to be met with approval was the cannabis testing facility CannTest LLC, also located in Anchorage. Approval of the application garnered applause within the room.

As the audience in the room cheered, MCB member Brandon Emmett voiced his support.

Alaska has officially pounded another nail of 80 years of prohibition in the United States.

According to CannTest CEO Mark Malagodi, while the awarding of the license is an honor, there remains work still to be done.

I think it’s a really important job. It’s up to us to make sure nothing is out there that is going to be harmful to any of the people of Alaska or anybody who visits Alaska.

CannTest’s application was approved unanimously by the five-member panel, as was the second facility to receive its license, AK Green Labs. In all, nine growth businesses were granted licenses.

Following the approval of the licenses, the MCB also discussed the possibility of amending their rules on such issues as advertising, out-of-state-investment, and requirements for  video surveillance.

Next steps in the process

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Alaska has until recently received almost 350 applications for cannabis business licenses. However, until the Board gets around to certifying other businesses, those that have already received the licenses still have some hoops through which they’ll need to jump.

First, the businesses must make it through a 60-day protest period that allows any local residents to voice their concern about the business’ opening. (The period can also be waived by officials.) Then the facility must obtain their final inspection from Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office before they may open for business.

The board next meets on July 7, to review any prospective changes to their rules and the next application for cultivation and testing licenses.

Do you live in a state in which cannabis is not yet legal? Tell us about your experiences on social media or in the comments below.

Jun 14, 2016