Medical Marijuana in Alaska
Since the 1970s, Alaska has been an incredibly aggressive state from the perspective of decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis. In 1998, 58% of Alaska voters approved Measure 8, a law which provides a legal defense to non-registered patients and those who can demonstrate adequate need to possess large quantities of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, Alaska’s Medical Marijuana program failed to create state regulations for medical dispensaries to be able to open their doors and operate legally. However, with the passage of medical marijuana, Alaskians began promoting the legalization of recreational adult-use of marijuana.
Recreational Marijuana in Alaska
On November 4, 2014, 53% of voters approved Measure 2, also known as AS 17.38 or “Alaska Marijuana Legalization Initiative,” allowing for the regulation, production, sale, and use of marijuana for adult-use. Alaska became the 3rd state to legalize recreational marijuana. After Measure 2 went into effect in February 2015, the first licensed recreational marijuana businesses were authorized to begin operations in Alaska by 2016.
On March 12, 2019, Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer (R) signed the state’s approved regulations for onsite consumption. The laws went into effect April 11, 2019. The onsite consumption rules give each local government jurisdiction over its own county, and ability to decide its own onsite consumption regulations, such as prohibiting on-site use outright or to tighten restrictions, such as limiting consumption to vaporizing only.
Alaska’s Department of Health and Senior Services (“DHSS”) runs the Medical Marijuana Registry. Patients must be diagnosed with one of the debilitating conditions below to qualify for medical marijuana use:
- Positive status HIV/AIDS
- Severe chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
Upcoming Applications for Marijuana Business Licenses
Alaska continues to accept applications for marijuana businesses on a rolling basis. All applications require a location.
The Marijuana Control Board does not limit the number of adult-use marijuana licenses it can issue at the state level. However, Measure 2, specifically, AS 17.38.110(b) states that local governments can restrict the “time, place, manner and number” of marijuana licenses. As a result, it is important to look into whether your local government has any requirements regarding the local limit on where to open a dispensary or other marijuana businesses.
Types of Marijuana Business Licenses & its Fees
- Standard Marijuana Cultivation Facilities — $5,000
- Limited Marijuana Cultivation Facilities — $1,000
- Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities — $5,000
- Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing Facilities — $1,000
- Marijuana Testing Manufacturing Facilities — $1,000
- Retail Marijuana Store — $5,000
Application & Administrative Fees
- New Application Fee: $1000
- Transfer Application Fee: $1000
- Renewal Application Fee: $600
- Fingerprint Fee: $48.25 (per person)
- Business Name Change Fee (MJ-13): $250
- Licensed Premises Diagram Change Fee (MJ-14): $250
- Operating Plan Change Fee (MJ-15): $250
- Proposed New Marijuana Product Fee (MJ-16): $250 (per product)
- Ownership Change Fee (MJ-17): $250
- Conversion Application Fee: $1000
- Onsite Consumption Endorsement Application Fee: $1000
- Onsite Consumption Endorsement Fee: $2000
- Limited Marijuana Cultivation Facilities: $1,400
- Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing Facilities: $2,000
- Marijuana Testing Facilities: $2,000
- Standard Marijuana Cultivation Facilities: $7,000
- Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities: $7,000
- Retail Marijuana Store: $7,000
The application process for Marijuana Business Licenses remains open in Alaska. If you are interested in pursuing a marijuana business license in Alaska, contact us to begin to put together a comprehensive plan. You can provide your information here to be notified of any changes or updates to the marijuana business licensing process in Alaska. Schedule an appointment here so we can discuss your options!