ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - One day before the Alaska Marijuana Control Board meets in Fairbanks, the Anchorage Assembly will consider sending it a resolution in support of onsite consumption of marijuana.
“The proposal is to ask the Marijuana Control Board to follow through with the proposal they’ve been working on which is to come up with a way for us to effectively regulate the public consumption in downtown,” said downtown assembly member Christopher Constant.
On July 12, the state board will consider putting one of three proposals out for public comment, including: onsite consumption at licensed facilities, a two year moratorium on onsite consumption, and onsite consumption of edible marijuana products only.
The Anchorage Assembly recently approved downtown’s second retail marijuana store and expect more to follow. Constant says he’s heard several concerns from downtown businesses.
“How many stores downtown, the distances between the stores and what’s to be done with the public use, in particular with the tourist industry that’s coming up and the fact that we have a million folks flowing through our downtown over the course of the summer,” said Constant.
The owner of Alaska Fireweed on 4th Avenue says more than 50% of his summer customers are tourists. “If you don’t have a safe place you can consume but you can sell it, it’s just going to cause more issues and the last thing we want to do is cause more issues and have more problems with drugs and alcohol downtown,” said Will Ingram.
The Anchorage Downtown Partnership regularly meets with downtown land and business owners. It says education is paramount. “Whether you’re a tourist or a local, that you understand what the laws are, it’s not supposed to be smoked in our parks, in our alley ways, in our sidewalks, and so that’s the direction we’re headed with these conversations,” said Executive Director James Boring.
The Anchorage Assembly will consider the resolution at its regular July 11 meeting at 5 p.m. at the Loussac Library.