Alaska Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS ALASKA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS
Alaska legalized recreational cannabis in 2014 when 53.2% of voters approved Measure 2 on the ballot. The initiative went into effect on February 24, 2015 allowing Alaskans to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and have a home grow of no more than 6 plants. Tax revenue indicates that the cannabis market in Alaska has consistently grown each year with a 30% increase from 2018 to 2019 in the amount of cannabis sold.
Alaska’s cannabis market has excelled despite facing geographical and taxation challenges. Wholesale prices were initially high due to products having to be transported by plane and the tax burden of $800 per pound of flower imposed on cultivators. As more companies broaden operations to include dispensaries, they are having to spend less on transportation for wholesale orders and are also receiving a tax break by selling their cannabis through their own dispensary rather than being a sale directly from the cultivator to an unaffiliated organization. These changes have allowed a small drop in wholesale prices which currently range from $2,600 for outdoor grown products to $4,000 for indoor products with a 30% or higher THC percentage. Although these prices are still high compared to other mature cannabis markets like Colorado, the prices are continued to drop through 2020.
WHAT ARE ALASKA'S CANNABIS LAWS?
Similar to Colorado’s laws, Alaska allows adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce or 28 grams of cannabis. Recreational adults users are also permitted to grow up 6 plants within the privacy of their home as long as only three are in the flowering stage at any given time. While no consumption lounges have yet to open in Alaska, on January 23 2020 the Alaska Marijuana Control Board approved the states two businesses that will hold permits to conduct one-site consumption. A full text of Alaska’s regulations set in place by the Marijuana Control Board can be found here.
WHAT IS ALASKA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Alaska accepts applications for a cannabis business on a rolling basis and has no limit on the amount licenses the state can award although local municipalities may enforce a limit on how many facilities it allows. To begin the application process create a login for an account with the state of Alaska here..
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN ALASKA?
Alaska has a complicated history with cannabis that seesawed between decriminalization and reinstating criminalization starting in 1982 through 2014. Cannabis was briefly decriminalized in 1982 when Alaska’s legislature decriminalized the possession of up to 4 ounces in one's home and up to one ounce outside of the home. That came to end in 1990 when cannabis was decriminalized imposing strict penalties such as up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine for the possession of any amount.
By 1998, Cannabis was legalized for the use of medical purposes for patients who received a doctor's recommendation to utilize the plant. Patients could possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow 6 plants in a secured space within their homes. In 2006 cannabis was once again criminalized making possessions under one ounce or twenty eight grams a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Possession charges for amounts between one and four ounces were punishable by up to one full year in jail and the possession of amounts higher than four ounces were charged as a felony.
The state's long road to cannabis legalization came to an end in 2014 when 53.2% of voters passed Measure 2 on the ballot officially making recreational cannabis legal in the state of Alaska.
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE ALASKA CANNABIS MARKET?
The Alaskan cannabis market has only continued to grow since legalization and with a rolling application process the opportunity to operate a cannabis business of your own within the state is still possible! Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.