Tax and Regulate

Colo.: Home cannabis delivery and on-site consumption bills head to governor

New measures represent big advancements in cannabis policy

Lawmakers passed two key cannabis bills this week. One would authorize the home delivery of cannabis products, while the other would create much-needed locations for adults to consume cannabis outside of personal residences.

HB 1234 would allow both medical cannabis patients and adult consumers to order cannabis products for home delivery. They would be limited to private residences and would not be allowed on college campuses. Deliveries would only be allowed if they are authorized by their local jurisdictions, either through a local referendum or the local governing body. Medical cannabis deliveries would begin January 2, 2020, with deliveries to adult consumers starting the following January.

The other measure, HB 1230, would allow businesses like hotels or restaurants to set aside a location for patrons to consume without violating the law. It would also allow licensed retail locations to sell small amounts of cannabis for use on-site. The emergence of hospitality centers is a big step forward for tourists and other consumers seeking a legal option.

Colorado continues as a leader in cannabis policy, and these bills are yet another step forward. Thanks to all those who helped get these measures through a difficult process. Both are expected to be presented to the governor in the coming days, and many anticipate he will sign both into law.

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Alaska Marijuana Control Board to license, regulate cannabis cafes!

New rules mark the first statewide, comprehensive framework for on-site use locations

Yesterday, December 20, the Marijuana Control Board adopted rules that allow cannabis retailers to apply for licenses authorizing on-site use of cannabis by adults 21 and over. This is a major step forward for cannabis policy in Alaska and the United States.

The issue of on-site use came to the forefront over four years ago. Since voters enacted the state’s marijuana initiative, the only option for cannabis consumption was private residences. The new rules provide adult residents and tourists with a place to consume that complies with state and local law.

MPP would like to thank all those who provided testimony to the board in support and the many residents and businesses who worked toward a solution during these past several years!

A copy of the rules is available online, and MPP’s short summary of many of the key provisions is also available.

The regulations will next be reviewed by the state’s Department of Law and must be signed by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer before taking effect. We hope that dispensaries in communities that support on-site use locations will be able to move ahead and prepare for tourist season in 2019 without delay.

Thanks again to all the supporters and those seeking this change in Alaska!

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Tax and Regulate

Alaska: Marijuana Control Board issues proposed on-site consumption rules

Board seeks public input, with written comments due by November 1

The Marijuana Control Board, which oversees the state’s regulatory system for cannabis, has released proposed rules governing on-site consumption of cannabis at approved locations. Members of the public are invited to review and provide written comments on the proposed rules by 4:30 p.m. on November 1.

A link to the state’s page announcing the proposed rules is available here, and a copy of the rules themselves is here.

Under the proposal, a retailer in a freestanding location could obtain an endorsement to sell adults 21 or over up to a gram of cannabis, which could be consumed at the premises. Products containing up to 10mg THC could also be available, although concentrates would be prohibited. Retailers could provide non-alcoholic drinks and non-cannabis foods. Significant security and access provisions apply, but these seem reasonable.

The proposal would close a significant gap. Currently, adult consumers have nowhere to consume cannabis except in private residences, presenting significant problems for tourists visiting Alaska, who often don’t have access.

Written public comments are due no later than November 1. The board will also hold a public hearing, currently scheduled for December 19 in Anchorage. Those who want to provide comments in person are invited to present them at that time.

If you are an Alaska resident, please consider adding your voice in support of sensible rules for consumers, and help spread the word and forward this message to others in your network!

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Tax and Regulate

Alaska Gets Initial Approval for On-Site Consumption at Marijuana Retailers

The regulatory body in charge of marijuana policy in Alaska has just taken steps to become the first state to allow on-site consumption at retail marijuana stores.

Alaska Dispatch News reports:

At the Alaska Marijuana Control Board's meeting held Wednesday through Friday this week in Fairbanks, board members approved 3-2 a proposal to set up rules for on-site marijuana consumption at retail stores.

The proposal includes a draft of specific rules for everything from ventilation and location of these consumption areas to how much marijuana can be used there, and much more. Citizens will have 60 days to comment on the proposal before the draft rules come back to the board, likely at the November meeting.

In November 2015, the board voted to allow on-site consumption at marijuana stores. Alaska Dispatch News reported at the time that the amendment passed to allow such consumption would function "as a placeholder," pending more specific rules. In February, Alaska Dispatch News reported the board abandoned a regulatory project that had been in the works since May 2016. But then, in March, the body decided it would take another stab at it.

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Alaska Issues First Marijuana Business License

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board issued the state’s first retail business license on September 9, 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.ak-seal
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.

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