Marijuana

Debbie Roos/N.C. State University

: Alaska took the first step this week toward regulating industrial hemp, a versatile and non-psychoactive form of marijuana. The state Department of Natural Resources unveiled draft regulations for the industry on Monday, and the agency is asking the public to weigh-in on the proposed regs.


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.


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.


KUAC file photo

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has published the second issue of a monthly magazine that’s all about marijuana. The newspaper’s publisher and editor say they launched the Alaska Cannabist to cover the rapidly growing industry and people who want to know more about it.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

After a heated debate, the Fairbanks City Council approved an ordinance Monday that added regulations to the marijuana industry. The amended ordinance maintains the city’s ban on on-site consumption of cannabis. But it would allow more than twice as many retail shops as the original ordinance introduced by Mayor Jim Matherly.


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.


Owners of local marijuana businesses told the Fairbanks City Council Monday that the free market should decide how many retail pot shops the city should allow. The owners and other advocates told council members a proposed ordinance that would limit the number of shops and impose other regulations on the industry could stifle the economic benefits it’s generating.

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.


Several residents of a North Pole neighborhood told Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members Thursday that they do not want a marijuana-growing business in the area. Their arguments swayed half the members, but that wasn’t enough to pass a measure that would’ve opposed state approval of a business license for the facility.


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