Contributed by Tim Hinterberger
The Marijuana Control Board issued the state’s first retail business license on September 8th, reaching yet another milestone in the rollout of the voter-approved program. Frozen Budz, which plans to make cannabis-infused products in Fairbanks, received Alaska’s first retail license on Thursday. Congratulations!
Many other applications remain under consideration, and the review process for other retail businesses continues, if slower than many expected.
In addition, despite the board’s assurances earlier this year, it has not adopted rules or considered applications for cannabis cafés. With establishments that allow on-site consumption of alcohol commonly available, adults 21 and over who choose to consume a safer product should be able to partake at a regulated establishment, whether a resident or not.
The board previously issued a limited, but sensible rule enabling some retail establishments to allow on-site consumption. It is troubling that the board’s decision to clearly authorize and regulate these important businesses could be stalling. With the recently issued opinion by Attorney General, Jahna Lindemuth, that bring-your-own cannabis clubs are unlawful, the board should proceed with the licensed alternative - retail cafés - without further delay.