cannabis

The Fairbanks City Council postponed a final vote Monday on a proposed ordinance that would permit authorized cannabis retail shops in town to offer on-site consumption of marijuana. If approved, Fairbanks would become the first city in Alaska to allow on-site consumption. But as KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports, the council may now consider asking voters to make the decision.


  

 

Asking the state legislature for actions and local money is an annual duty of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly. An Assembly committee has been refining its Legislative Priorities for a few months. As KUAC’s Robyne reports, the Assembly voted on it last Thursday and is ready to send the “wish list” to Juneau.

Alaska’s marijuana industry and its advocates are concerned about Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointment of two people to the Marijuana Control Board that the advocates say could slow or halt the industry’s growth and hamper the state’s ability to regulate it. The appointments follow Dunleavy’s decision last week to replace the board vice chairman with a member who has a long history of opposing marijuana use and sale.


A roomful of people packed the Fairbanks City Council meeting room Monday for the last public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would place limits on marijuana businesses before the council considers approval next month. Most supported the ordinance and called for greater regulation of the industry. Opponents say the measure is unfair and heavy-handed, and would further unfairly treat marijuana and alcohol differently.


A proposed ordinance that would that would place limits on the local marijuana industry drew a capacity crowd to Fairbanks City Council chambers Monday night. About 20 of those at the meeting gave council members an earful about the ordinance, which would limit the number of marijuana retail shops in the city, prohibit on-site consumption and increase buffer-zone distances between the shops and residential areas, schools and drug and alcohol rehab facilities. In the end, council members decided to postpone voting on the ordinance until May – and in the meanwhile they plan to form a working group to include representatives of the local cannabis industry and others.

KUAC file photo

The Fairbanks City Council is looking at limiting the number of marijuana businesses in town through an ordinance that’s modeled on how the city and state limit alcohol-related establishments. Mayor Jim Matherly introduced a draft ordinance Monday to adopt standards governing density of cannabis shops and other types of marijuana businesses.


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Local elections like the one coming up on Oct. 3 are notorious for drawing low voter turnout. But observers say this year’s city and borough elections may be different, because the two marijuana-related propositions on the ballots are likely to draw more voters to the polls in what observers say will likely be a close election.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

Municipal leaders from all three local governments gathered for a joint meeting Tuesday night with about 120 citizens to talk about the state’s new marijuana-legalization law. The first-of-its-kind meeting was held so the leaders could talk amongst themselves, and with the audience, about how they’re going to put the law into practice.