Alaska regulators weigh increase in license fees for cannabis businesses

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Alaska regulators are mulling a hike in marijuana business license fees to bankroll the work needed to regulate the state’s cannabis industry.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported the state’s Marijuana Control Board is weighing two proposals:

  • An increase in the $500 license to $1,500, and the $5,000 license to $7,000.
  • An increase in the $500 license to $1,000, and the $5,000 license to $6,000.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office Director Erika McConnell presented the plan at the board’s Oct. 17 meeting.
  • She also suggested the board could boost only the renewal fee for licensees, because it’s already costly for new businesses seeking to enter the MJ space.
  • The state Legislature pumped in about $4.5 million from general coffers when the program started – and the state wants to be paid back, McConnell said.
  • MJ business owners have voiced concerns about the time it takes the state to review new license applications – with some applicants waiting up to five months.
  • McConnell called for more staff to improve the turnaround time on applications.
  • A public notice and comment period would be needed before the board could act on the proposed fee hike.