Kenai Peninsula pot businesses may add $5M boost to economy

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KENAI, Alaska (AP) - With several marijuana businesses up and running on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, industry estimates show the businesses could contribute $5.3 million annually to the local economy.

The Peninsula Clarion reports ( eight marijuana businesses have opened on the peninsula since last summer and nine more are planned. Of those businesses, two are retail stores and the rest are cultivators.

Dollynda Phelps of cultivation company Peace Frog Botanicals presented a survey to the Kenai Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday showing businesses could bring the peninsula more than $5 million annually in taxes and spending on infrastructure and compliance.

But the peninsula's growing pot industry also faces an electoral challenge this year. Phelps says an October ballot measure to ban commercial marijuana operations would shutter 16 of the 17 business licensees' operations.

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