Alaskans Riled Up Over Proposed Ban on Cannabis Clubs

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What good is legalized cannabis if there’s almost nowhere to consume it?

That’s one of the top concerns Alaskans expressed to state regulators about proposed recreational cannabis rules during a two-day public comment period that ends today.

The state’s proposed regulations on recreational marijuana call for a ban on clubs that allow consumers to consume marijuana, nixing a potential business opportunity for entrepreneurs.

That means the only legally protected place to consume marijuana is inside a private home. Many landlords, however, don’t allow that. Marijuana consumers face a similar dilemma in other states that have legalized recreational cannabis.

It’s unclear if the state will look to revise its proposal on the issue. But it seems doubtful, as lawyers have advised the five-member Alaska Marijuana Control Board that it doesn’t have the authority to authorize the clubs because the ballot measure doesn’t explicitly allow them.

Other concerns raised during the public comment period include restrictions on marketing and product potency, as well as prohibitions on non-Alaskan residents from investing or being involved in a marijuana business.

Under the state’s recreational marijuana law, officials have until Nov. 24 to approve regulations. The government must begin accepting license applications by Feb. 24, and must issue the first license on May 25.