Anchorage Shoots Down Proposed Ban on Rec Sales

Alaska’s budding marijuana industry scored a significant victory Tuesday night when lawmakers killed a proposal that would’ve banned recreational cannabis sales in Anchorage, the state’s most promising MJ market.

Barring any other legal challenges, it appears retail stores, cultivation sites, testing labs and other cannabis-related businesses will eventually be able to set up shop in the city.

The application process for marijuana business permits in Alaska is expected to begin in November 2015, and the first licensed companies are expected to open as early as spring 2016.

Anchorage lawmakers considered a proposal that would’ve had the city opt out of cannabis sales as state lawmakers craft regulations on the industry. The proposal failed in a 9-2 vote, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.

Assembly members said they were concerned a ban in Anchorage would exclude local officials from state discussions on legal cannabis.

Opinions on recreational marijuana in Anchorage are split: About 51% of voters in the city approved a ballot initiative last month legalizing adult-use marijuana in the state, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a key force behind the measure.

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