Now that the commercial cannabis industry has been regulated in Alaska, a quick search for dispensaries in Anchorage will yield you about a dozen results. The question on the minds of those paying attention, is: why are prices so high? At the time of this writing, High Times Magazine is reporting prices of $75-$85 for an 1/8 of an oz. in Anchorage, AK. Some people may think overregulation, but this does not seem to be the case. Those paying attention know Alaska is not the most regulated of states in the newly emerging commercial cannabis industry.
Alaska Cannabis Cultivation
The problem seems to be on the supply side. Currently, there are nearly as many active grow licenses operating as there are retailers. It is being reported that many of the producers have not started growing yet. With this supply side reality, the price of cannabis in Alaska is not likely to reduce in the near future. As more retail opens monthly throughout the state, it takes producers a longer time frame to become operational once they start growing. The question is why? Alaska is a cannabis business friendly state,
more so than many.
The downside to this is there is a maximum people are willing to pay for cannabis and consequently there is a black market situation that goes unregulated. The penalties for operating on any level of the Alaska cannabis industry and being unlicensed is very risky and bad for the industry as a whole. The general rules for cannabis in Alaska carry stiff penalties for unlicensed activity. Black market cannabis never gets tested for public safety and is not a consistent, reliable solution. Regulation is the way forward as decided by the Alaska 2014 ballot initiative, which set the groundwork for the regulation of commercial cannabis.