Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 58° Partly Cloudy
News >  Marijuana

Alaska pot shops to be among 1st in U.S. to allow consumption

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 23, 2020

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board listens to testimony during a public comment period on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska’s legal marijuana industry hit a milestone Thursday, as regulators approved the first retail stores that will be allowed to have customers consume marijuana products on site. (Becky Bohrer / Associated Press)
The Alaska Marijuana Control Board listens to testimony during a public comment period on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska’s legal marijuana industry hit a milestone Thursday, as regulators approved the first retail stores that will be allowed to have customers consume marijuana products on site. (Becky Bohrer / Associated Press)
By Becky Bohrer Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska – Marijuana shops in Alaska will be among the first nationally where onsite use would be permitted.

Alaska’s legal marijuana industry hit the milestone Thursday as regulators approved the first retail stores in the state that will be allowed to have customers smoke or consume marijuana products on site.

Some cities in other states have approved such actions, but these are the first state-issued approvals, said Chris Lindsey, director of government relations with the Marijuana Policy Project.

“But clearly we’re still very, very early in all of this,” Lindsey said.

On 3-2 votes, the Marijuana Control Board approved applications by GoodSinse LLC in Fairbanks and Cannabis Corner, which is located in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

Daniel Peters, a co-owner of GoodSinse, whose application was the first of the two to be approved, called it a dream come true.

“This is historic in my mind,” he said in an interview, adding that they hope to be open by summer. “This is a really big milestone … when you’re trying to bring normalcy to something in a new industry.”

Ayme Zantua, a co-owner of Cannabis Corner, said they are aiming for a February opening. She said they are hoping to capitalize on the number of tourists who visit Ketchikan, a summer cruise ship stop.

Alaska’s rules for onsite consumption took effect in 2019, after years of discussion. The rules call for consumption areas to be separated from the rest of the property, either by a secure door and having a separate ventilation system or by being outdoors. They are to have smoke-free areas for employees to monitor consumption, and people cannot bring in product not purchased on site.

The board, meeting this week in Juneau, has been mulling revisions to the rules, including barring vaping and easing a building requirement for shops that want to offer places to consume edibles but not permit smoking.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.