Alaska Cannabis Laws – History
Cannabis laws in Alaska allow for both medical and recreational use. This became well known following a 2014 ballot initiative that successfully legalized the adult use of cannabis in Alaska. This event was proceeded by the 2003 ruling that decriminalized possession in Alaska. Alaska has a medical cannabis law on the books an there are a small amount of registered patients in the state. Historically, cannabis laws in Alaska have been either criminalized or decriminalized concerning the possession of cannabis. This broad classification has protects both medical and recreational/adult use of cannabis in Alaska. The state ballot initiative went a step further in 2014, making way for the commercialization of cannabis under Alaska law.
Alaska was the first state in the Union to decriminalize cannabis in 1975. In 1990, cannabis laws changed once again and re-criminalized cannabis in Alaska. This decision was overturned in 2003, whereby the state of Alaska once again decriminalized cannabis.
Alaska Cannabis Laws – Penalties
- 1 oz or less – No Penalty, No Fine, No Incarceration
- 1 – 4 oz – Misdemeanor, $10,000 Max Fine, Max 1 year Incarceration
- 4 oz or more – Felony, $50,000 Max Fine, Max 5 years Incarceration
- Any amount within 500 feet of school grounds or rec. center – Felony, $50,000 Max Fine, Max 1 year Incarceration
- Public consumption – Violation, $100 Max Fine, No Incarceration
- Up to 6 plants with no more than 3 mature – Misdemeanor, No Fine, No Incarceration
- 25 plants or more – Felony, $1,000 Max Fine, Max 5 years Incarceration
- To a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller – Felony, $100,000 Max Fine, Max 10 years Incarceration
- Possession of 3g or less – No Penalty, $10,000 Max Fine, 0 – 1 year Incarceration
- Possession of more than 3g – Felony, $50,000 Max Fine, 0 – 2 years Incarceration
- Delivery, manufacture, or possessing with intent to distribute any amount – Felony, $100,000 Max Fine, 1 – 3 years years Incarceration
Alaska Cannabis Business Laws
On February 21, 2016 the state of Alaska introduced regulations that would effectively regulate the newly emerging commercial cannabis industry in the state. The new Alaska cannabis laws for businesses are two fold. First, there are a set of regulations that set statutes and create governing bodies for regulation of the commercial cannabis industry in Alaska. Secondly there are the details of applications and prerequisites for starting a cannabis business in Alaska.
On February 24, 2016 applications for an Alaska cannabis business license became available online.
Alaska Cannabis Business Key Notes
- Alaska is the first state that does not differentiate between the medical and recreational cannabis industry. The cannabis laws in Alaska are for a single industry.
- Any municipality or community can ban any or all types of cannabis businesses.
- Each business partner in an Alaska marijuana business must be a state resident eligible for a Permanent Fund Dividend. This would typically mean having lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year to qualify for a Permanent Fund Dividend.
- Licenses will be tied directly to the physical location for the business.
- There currently is no cap on the number of licenses that can be issued, or the number of licenses for a single individual or company.
- Vertical integration is permitted.