AK Capital Enacts Rec Moratorium

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Alaska’s capital is tapping the brakes on recreational marijuana.

Lawmakers in Juneau have passed a local ordinance that bans cannabis businesses from opening until at least Oct. 19.

It’s more a symbolic move than anything. Marijuana companies likely wouldn’t be able to launch before then anyway, as Alaska’s rec law gives the state until late November to craft rules on the industry. The state also has until Feb. 24, 2016 to actually start issuing business licenses.

But entrepreneurs fear the moratorium could set Juneau’s industry back regardless. City officials won’t even look at land use permits or other documentation during the moratorium, which means those interested in starting cultivation sites, infused products companies and retail stores won’t be able to prepare ahead of time to open.

That could cause a ripple effect that delays the launch of cannabis businesses – and, ultimately, sales – in Juneau.

Under the terms of Ballot Measure 2, which Alaskans approved last November, it will become legal to possess and consume cannabis on Feb. 24.