In the last several months we have seen a steady stream of telephone calls and emails from entrepreneurs in Alaska who are interested in entering the legal recreational marijuana industry. On November 14, 2014 the wise voters of Alaska approved Measure 2, a citizen-led initiative that will legalize and regulate marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Since that victory occurred the number of inquiries we are receiving from cannabusiness hopefuls in Alaska has quadrupled (at least).
To that end, we have put together a short list of frequently asked questions about legal marijuana in the Land of the Midnight Sun in an effort to help the curious sort out fact from fiction. If you have any questions that are not answered here or are interested in establishing your own marijuana production, extraction or distribution business in Alaska please contact us.
What is Measure 2?
Measure 2 is a citizen-led initiative which codifies into law the responsibility of the state of Alaska to tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana. Measure 2 also removes penalties for adults 21 and older who possess, use, and grow marijuana for personal use.
Who will regulate marijuana in Alaska?
Measure 2 places the responsibility of regulating a legal cannabis industry on the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Measure 2 also gives state legislators the ability to establish a separate Marijuana Control Board at any time.
What types of marijuana businesses will be allowed under the new law?
Measure 2 establishes four different types of marijuana-related licenses in Alaska:
- Marijuana cultivation facilities, which will grow marijuana for wholesale distribution.
- Marijuana product manufacturing facilities, which will produce cannabis extracts, edibles and infused products.
- Retail marijuana stores, which will handle retail marijuana flower distribution to the general public.
- Marijuana testing facilities, which will be responsible for testing cannabis applications before sale to the public.
How will marijuana be taxed?
A $50 per-ounce tax will be levied on wholesale marijuana sold by cultivation facilities.
What local regulations are there to be concerned about?
Although Measure 2 does allow local municipalities to zone, restrict and outright ban marijuana establishments it is too early to tell which municipalities will enact local regulations. Additionally, since such a large portion of Alaska lies in unincorporated areas there should be plenty of local opportunities for ganjapreneurs.
How much will it cost to open a retail store, cultivation facility or manufacturing facility?
Again it is too early to tell exactly how much it will cost to work with marijuana in Alaska, but if we can draw any comparison to other states that have legalized it would be safe to say a retail store owner should have access to at least $250,000 in liquid funds, and more for marijuana cultivators. The organization responsible for regulating marijuana will impose stringent facility, packaging, personnel, software and security requirements, similar to other states, and compliance is not cheap.
What do I do to get started?
WeedBiz is a cannabusiness consultant that can help you with every step of the upcoming licensing process. Beyond that, we are able to help you launch your cannabusiness operation in the optimal location and then staff your cultivation, production or retail facility with professional marijuana growers, extraction artists and management personnel. We then provide expert marketing services to help you establish and grow your brand.
If you are interested in speaking to a marijuana consultant in Alaska please click here to contact us, or give us a call toll-free at 844-WeedBiz.