Proposal Would Dampen Cannabis Business Opportunities in Anchorage

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Businesses in Anchorage, Alaska, that allow patrons to smoke cannabis indoors may face legal issues if a bill proposed by a local lawmaker makes its way into law.

The proposal would essentially add marijuana to a city law that prohibits smoking tobacco in places of employment – in effect banning smoking inside, even in businesses such as private cannabis clubs, bars and cafes that are dedicated to adult-use consumption.

Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini told KTUU News that he’s been getting calls from bar owners worried that people would smoke marijuana in their businesses.

At least one business owner plans to fight the ordinance. Theresa Collins – the co-owner of Pot Luck Events, a private club that currently allows members to smoke inside – said she has 13 employees, some of whom don’t use but are OK with marijuana consumption.

Alaska lawmakers have been taking baby steps in crafting regulations governing the adult-use market.

Earlier this month, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board proposed initial regulations focused on legal definitions and outlining options local governments would have when it comes to cannabis companies. One proposal would give municipalities to ban or allow cannabis companies and even get into the industry themselves if they so choose.