Alaska Marijuana Consumption Locations

Screenshot (117)As Alaska moves forward, seemingly one lumber-some step after another, the public finally had their opportunity to share with the Alaska Marijuana Control Board.  While citizens have been able to write public comments, October 15 and 16th they were able to have a captive audience of the board, at least for 3 minutes.

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board is made up of five citizens appointed by the Governor and have until November 24, 2015 to finish revising the draft regulations and submit them to the Legislator.

It was wonderful to hear the professional, articulate, reasonable statements by the Cannabis community. By far, the largest amount of comments were about legal consumption locations, especially “smoking clubs.” Unfortunately, as current drafts sit, private clubs are banned and there are no means for the industry to accommodate the demand (and right) of consumers to have a location outside of a private home to use cannabis.

Cheeky Monkey’s founder Johnny Furlong posed this statement to the MCB in regards to consumption locations.

“The legal argument being made that the board does not have the authority to make a license for clubs is inconsistent with its position on the Broker’s license.”

Mr Furlong was speaking in regards to the MCB creating the Broker License which was not part of the original draft, but then argued it did not have the authority to draft smoking club licenses into the regulations.

Mr. Furlong continued, If this (MCB) argument is incorrect, than you do have the authority to make a license type, however, we in the industry are not asking for that. We request you simply remove 306.900 and allow the Legislature the option to decide to do this.

If the argument is correct and you do not have the authority to add a license type, Why doesn’t a club have a license type for you to have the authority over?

It is because the clubs do not apply under any of the current license types. Clubs do not make any money directly or indirectly through the sale of cannabis, nor do they broker it in any way.   

This is because clubs are an ancillary business service much like the garden store who sells the nutrients for someone to grow their seeds at the beginning of life stage, or the store where they buy the pipe to put their bud in. The clubs simply are offering an environment and a chair for citizens to enjoy the end of the life cycle of the cannabis which they grew in their garden, with their pipe that was purchased at a store. Offering a private seat in a private club location is not a cannabis transaction.

It stops becoming an ancillary business once they get the retail license and begin to sell cannabis. At this point, they fall under a license type. Private club is defined as; one whose proprietor owns the property and funds and conducts the club to attempt to make a profit. The members are entitled to use the premises and property in exchange for the payment of entrance fees and subscriptions to the proprietor. Private smoking clubs fit this description, thus are not a “cannabis business.”

So, with or without the authority to to make licenses, you do have the authority to remove it and it is this citizen’s opinion it is the most prudent step to take. Remove 306.900 and allow the legislature to make the decision of what needs to be done while the actual cannabis businesses can start moving forward with your great assistance. Thank you very much.”

Thanks to the many folks in the Alaska Cannabis Industry who have worked together to help bring an educated voice to the MCB. Cheeky Monkey™ would like to give special thanks to the AK CRCL who has played an important role in providing information and assistance with understanding current draft impacts.

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