AK cannabis businesses denied ‘Alaska Grown’ label

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At least two marijuana companies in Alaska have applied for – but almost certainly won’t receive – formal state advertising labels that are typically granted to other agricultural products.

The labels, which simply read “Alaska Grown,” are handed out via the state Division of Agriculture. But a spokesperson for the agency told Alaska Dispatch News the department doesn’t want to jeopardize any of its federal funding by appearing to support the marijuana business.

The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association blasted the decision, calling it “simply arbitrary.”

“It is unconscionable that the state would license and tax establishments and not grant them full access to services in Alaska,” the organization said in a statement.

MJ businesses are also forbidden from posting job openings on the state employment website, the Alaska Dispatch News reported, for the same reason: The site is funded by federal money, which the state doesn’t want to risk.

Both the agriculture department and the labor department, which oversee “Alaska Grown” and the job site, have asked their federal counterparts for guidance on the matter.