Alaska OKs rules for on-site cannabis use, gives jurisdictions some control

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Alaska regulators approved rules for on-site consumption of marijuana at some retail cannabis shops – but local governments, by an ordinance or ballot question, could bar on-premise use or certain types of consumption, such as smoking.

Cary Carrigan, the executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, called the state’s Marijuana Control Board’s 3-2 vote in favor of on-site consumption significant and a positive step.

The proposed rules – which must clear other regulatory hurdles before being finalized – would give retailers a new business opportunity.

Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel with the Marijuana Policy Project, said Alaska would have the first regulatory framework for on-site use at the state level. He called the adopted rules smart and said they could be a model for other states.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The adopted rules call for consumption areas that are outdoors or separated from a marijuana retail store by walls and a secure door and meet ventilation requirements. The board would have to determine that a proposed outdoor site is compatible with the surrounding area.
  • People could not bring their own marijuana to a consumption area. Stores with on-premise use would have to have a smoke-free place for employees to monitor the consumption area.
  • Concentrates could not be consumed on-site, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
  • Interested businesses would have to apply for a special on-premise-use endorsement and devise plans that would meet ventilation and other standards for on-site use and pass muster with the board.

Next, the adopted rules must be reviewed by the state Department of Law and signed by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer before they can be finalized.

– Associated Press