Assembly Creates Clause To Allow Marijuana Business In Talkeetna

Contributed by Tina Smith, MatValley Cannabis Business Association

Limited Cultivation is now exempt from Conditional Use Permit.

The Mat Su Marijuana Industry had a couple wins when it comes to business, marijuana and the MatSu Borough, and it’s about damn time.

For some they were tiny wins, for others it meant the whole world. Some may finally be able to see the beginning of their garden very soon, after more than a two year wait.

Limited cultivation are not held to standard’s requirements. That’s a great thing, especially with the setbacks still currently in place. The setbacks that are in place right now say 50 ft. from right of way, and 100 ft. from the closest point of the marijuana establishments building, to the property or lot line.

On an acre lot, which is pretty standard, it just isn't possible to navigate within any reasonable means and starts to look a lot like an unreasonable regulation.

None of the Assembly members wanted to initiate an amendment, however I did hear speak of bringing multiple amendments together at the next or a future meeting.

My public comment covered a possible change in language with the help of a smart lawyer I know. During a break, Alex Straum from Planning asked if I would send him the language I introduced. Of course I will sir, because what's there now is not pretty.

Basically the new language he is asking for says that the right of way is 50 ft. from the building, but the 100 feet from the nearest neighboring structure instead of lot line, not on the same parcel of land, and is not subject to the 100 foot rule if the neighboring parcel is owned by the same owner as the establishment its being measured from.

It's not perfect, but it's certainly closer than it was. Perfect would be to just lose the cup altogether and revert back to state regulations

Another new development that was a surprise to many was the introduction of “Sect. 4: Preexisting Applicant Unaffected.”

“Any application to operate a marijuana establishment filed with the State of Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control office before the enactment of this ordinance, where such a location falls within a special land use district (SPUD) or residential land use district shall not be affected by this ordinance. Any such applications are to be deemed preexisting and only subject to rules to the State of Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office even if the filing was deemed incomplete.”

If you have an initiated marijuana establishment license as of today, are a limited cultivation, in a residential land use district, or a special land use district, today was a good day for you. For now you are only subject to the regulation that were in place by the Marijuana Control Board until the time this ordinance is enacted.  Even if you were deemed incomplete before today, you are grandfathered in. Congratulations!

That’s Huge for a man named Joe, a tiny little town named Talkeetna and the High Expedition Company.

Joe has been in a holding pattern due to the weird zoning Talkeetna has to do as an unincorporated area. He can finally put the long two years of work to work. Bringing regulated marijuana to a perfect spot for it in Talkeetna.

Today was a good one for a lot of people, and a frustrating one for others. Frustrating for those who decide to show up super late in the game and complain that they didn't get a chance to say their peace, get angry that Kowalke didn't ask their permission before introducing Sec.4, and trying to reintroduce parks which was hashed out, at great length last year.

These people are not a fan of High Expedition Company, or Joe, because he has worked long and hard to make a place for himself, right on MAIN street.  While they weren't paying attention,

Joe was not quiet about it. You go Joe!

“I would like to ask those from the, Not on Main Street crowd, “Well, where have you been for the last two years? This makes me excited to be back to work just to see what tomorrow brings.”