Complaints of too much transparency force changes to marijuana applications

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) After several complaints from the marijuana industry, some changes were made to the application process to get a marijuana license.

Typically when someone applies for a license the person has to submit the building blueprints as well as other information for their store, which many in the industry says could lead to thefts.

So, starting on Feb. 1st, here's what happens instead according to Erika McConnell the Director of Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office:

1.The application forms have been revised to instruct applicants not to include security camera placement or other security information (such as panic buttons) on their premises diagrams. The board will no longer review camera placement for compliance with regulations but instead allow the enforcement team to ensure compliance during inspection.

2.The premises diagram form is being removed from all applications posted on the website after the board has taken action on the application. The premises diagram will still be visible for public review before a board meeting.

"I think we're trying to strike that balance between protecting them (people in the marijuana industry) and their security concerns and regulating the business appropriately, and allowing the public the ability to review everything in order to make any comments," McConnell said.

McConnell said she has heard about concerns from people in the industry, especially after Danish Gardens was robbed of more than $150,000 worth marijuana plants in December of last year.

No one has been arrested in that case.

Asked what he thought of the changes, the owner of Danish Gardens, Dane Wyrick said he was pleased.

"I'm happy for the industry," Wyrick said, "but it doesn't do anything for us. It doesn't do anything for the people who were already exposed."

McConnell also pointed out that if someone wanted to rob a store there are other ways to find out what's inside and where all the valuables are located.

"They can talk to people who worked there, talk to contractors who've been there, visit it themselves, maybe their ex-employees," McConnell said. "So while we definitely want to do what we can to reduce the possibility of people breaking into licensed premises, I don't think our taking this information off our website is going to eliminate this problem."

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