Anchorage Finalizes Recreational Cannabis Regs

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The Anchorage City Assembly finalized its regulations for the upcoming recreational marijuana industry on Tuesday night, tweaking buffer zone rules, prohibiting small-scale commercial grows and taking other steps.

The new rules reduce the required distance between marijuana retailers and schools from 1,000 feet to 500 feet. But the news is not as good as it seems because the distance won’t be measured by the shortest pedestrian route between entrances, but the shortest distance from property line to property line, according to the Alaska Journal of Commerce. That change means that some stores will be in violation of the new buffer zone.

The assembly also decided to forbid consumption at rec stores and dispensaries, but did not take action against cannabis clubs, which for the time being have neither been approved nor prohibited by the state.

While the new rules rankled some cannabis entrepreneurs in the city, Assembly Chairman Dick Traini said they should not be interpreted as animosity towards the industry, the Journal reported.

“We want to see you guys successful,” Traini said, according to the paper. He added that the rules could still be adjusted.

That’s definitely good news, given that many in Alaska expect Anchorage to be the epicenter of the state’s rec industry, the same way Denver is for Colorado.

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board finalized regulations earlier this month, and will begin taking license applications on Feb. 24.