Alaska Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Alaska Cannabis Laws

Marijuana is legal in Alaska for both medical and recreational users, with some restrictions. It is legal to grow your own herb and possess up to one ounce (4 ounces in your private residence), but it is still illegal to sell or consume in public.

Alaska Marijuana Laws at a Glance

  • Alaska law defines marijuana as leaves, stems, or flowers (the “buds”) of the marijuana plant; marijuana concentrates, such as oils, hashes, and waxes; and a wide variety of marijuana-infused products, such as edibles, tinctures, and topicals. The marijuana (i.e., Cannabis) plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that makes you feel high. Marijuana is most often used by smoking or by consuming food containing THC. Marijuana smoke has a distinctive pungent odor, often referred to as both sweet and sour or “skunky.”

Possession: for personal use

Less than 1 oz

  • Penalty: None
    • Incarceration: None
    • Max. Fine: $0

1 – 4 oz in your residence

  • Penalty: Not classified
    • Incarceration: N/A
    • Max. Fine: $0

1 – less than 4 oz

  • Penalty: Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max. Fine: $10,000

4 oz or more

  • Penalty: Felony
    • Incarceration: 5 years
    • Max. Fine: $50,000

Any amount within 500 feet of school grounds or recreational center

  • Penalty: Felony
    • Incarceration: 5 years
    • Max. Fine: $50,000

Public consumption

  • Penalty: Violation
    • Incarceration: None
    • Max. Fine: $100

With Intent to Distribute

Less than 1 oz

  • Penalty: Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max. Fine: $10,000

1 oz or more

  • Penalty: Felony
    • Incarceration: 5 years
    • Max. Fine: $50,000
  • Based on Alaskan Supreme Court decision, possession in the home for personal use is protected conduct by the right-to-privacy provision in their state constitution.
  • If charged with possession of marijuana in a school zone, an affirmative defense may be raised in conduct that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence.

Sale or Delivery

Less than 1 oz

  • Penalty: Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max. Fine: $10,000

1 oz or more

  • Penalty: Felony
    • Incarceration: 5 years
    • Max. Fine: $50,000

To a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller

  • Penalty: Felony
    • Incarceration: 10 years
    • Max. Fine: $100,000

Cultivation

Up to 6 plants (no more than 3 mature)

  • Penalty: None
    • Incarceration: None
    • Max. Fine: $0

6-25 plants in your residence

  • Penalty: Not Classified
    • Incarceration: N/A
    • Max. Fine: $0

25 plants or more

  • Penalty: Felony
    • Incarceration: 5 years
    • Max. Fine: $1,000
  • Based on Alaskan Supreme Court decision, possession in the home for personal use is protected conduct by the right-to-privacy provision in their state constitution.

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of any amount

  • Penalty: Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 0 – 1 year
    • Max. Fine: $10,000

Delivery, manufacture, or possessing with intent to distribute any amount

  • Penalty: Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 – 3 years
    • Max. Fine: $100,000

Civil Asset Forfeiture

  • Vehicles and other asset can be seized in a civil proceeding, regardless of whatever criminal charges are brought

Miscellaneous

  • If under 1 ounce of marijuana is gifted
    • Penalty: No Liability
    • Incarceration: None
    • Max. Fine: $0

Medical Marijuana

  • Medical Marijuana: Eligible patients or their approved caregivers may possess up to 1 oz. of usable marijuana (up to 4 oz. in one’s home), and may grow up to 6 plants (3 mature)

Security Camera System Requirements For Cannabis Farms And Dispensaries Security alarm systems and lock standards. Section 3 AAC 306.715

  • Each licensee, employee, or agent of a marijuana establishment shall display an identification badge issued by the marijuana establishment at all times when on the marijuana establishment’s licensed premises.
  • The licensed premises of a marijuana establishment must have
    • exterior lighting to facilitate surveillance;
    • a security alarm system on all exterior doors and windows; and
    • continuous video monitoring as provided in 3 AAC 306.720.
  • A marijuana establishment shall have policies and procedures that are designed to prevent diversion of marijuana or marijuana product;
    • prevent loitering;
    • describe the use of any additional security device, such as a motion detector, pressure switch, and duress, panic, or hold-up alarm to enhance security of the licensed premises; and
    • describe the actions to be taken by a licensee, employee, or agent of the marijuana establishment when any automatic or electronic notification system alerts a local law enforcement agency of an unauthorized breach of security.
  • A marijuana establishment shall use commercial grade, non-residential door locks on all exterior entry points to the licensed premises.

Video surveillance. Section 3 AAC 306.720

  • A marijuana establishment shall install and maintain a video surveillance and camera recording system as provided in this section. The video system must cover
    • each restricted access area and each entrance to a restricted access area within the licensed premises;
  • each entrance to the exterior of the licensed premises; and each point-of-sale area.
  • At a marijuana establishment, a required video camera must be placed in a way that produces a clear view adequate to identify any individual inside the licensed premises, or within 20 feet of each entrance to the licensed premises. Both the interior and the exterior of each entrance to the facility must be recorded by a video camera.
  • Any area where marijuana is grown, cured, or manufactured, or where marijuana waste is destroyed, must have a camera placement in the room facing the primary entry door, and in adequate fixed positions, at a height that will provide a clear, unobstructed view of the regular activity without a sight blockage from lighting hoods, fixtures, or other equipment, in order to allow for the clear and certain identification of any person and activity in the area at all times.
  • Surveillance recording equipment and video surveillance records must be housed in a locked and secure area or in a lock box, cabinet, closet or other secure area that is accessible only to a marijuana establishment licensee or authorized employee, and to law enforcement personnel including a peace officer or an agent of the board. A marijuana establishment may use an offsite monitoring service and offsite storage of video surveillance records if security requirements at the offsite facility are at least as strict as onsite security requirements as described in this section.
  • Each surveillance recording must be preserved for a minimum of 40 days, in a format that can be easily accessed for viewing. All recorded images must clearly and accurately display the time and date, and must be archived in a format that does not permit alteration of the recorded image, so that the images can readily be authenticated. After 40 days, a marijuana establishment may erase video recordings, unless the licensee knows or should know of any pending criminal, civil, or administrative investigation for which the video recording may contain relevant information.

Comply with Alaska’s Recording Regulations

  • Alaska does not require any specific recording regulation, but does require you to be able to ID a face at 20 ft. Now, you aren’t going to be able to do that with the camera system that shoots below 720P. You can only do that with HD. If you go with 720P, you will need a camera about every 30 feet if you want to ID people and the cameras will have 52 degree fields of view. If you go with 1080P, you will need a camera every 50 feet and they will have a 75, 98, or 106 degree field of view (depending on the camera).
  • Most people opt for at least a 1080P camera. With someone 20 feet away, with 1080P resolution.

Comply with the Alaska Storage Regulations:

  • Luckily you are only required to store 40 days of footage, however, you also will need to download footage and store it should there be any theft or other incident that involves (or should involve) the police.

Advertising Restrictions for Signs

  • Alaska dispensary laws allow you to place a sign in your dispensary’s window or attach it to the exterior of your building, as long as it does not exceed 4,800 square inches. However, you cannot have more than three signs visible to the general public that identifies the store by its business name.
  • A licensed marijuana establishment may have not more than three signs that are visible to the general public from the public right-of-way. Two of the three signs may only be placed in the marijuana facility’s window or attached to the outside of the licensed premises. The size of each sign may not exceed 4,800 square inches. A sign meeting these requirements is not advertising or promotions.
  • An advertisement for a licensed marijuana establishment and for marijuana or a marijuana product must include the business name and license number.
  • The advertisement does not contain any written information about marijuana or a marijuana product or any photographic or illustrative depictions of marijuana or a marijuana product, other than depictions contained within the established business name font and logo.
  • A logo or an advertisement for a licensed marijuana establishment and for marijuana or a marijuana product may not contain a statement or illustration that is false or misleading; promotes excessive consumption; represents that the use of marijuana has curative or therapeutic effects; depicts a person under 21 years of age consuming marijuana; or includes any object or character, including a toy, a cartoon character, or any other depiction that appeals to a person under 21 years of age.
  • An advertisement for a licensed marijuana establishment and for marijuana or a marijuana product may not be placed within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of any child- centered facility, including a school, a child care facility or other facility providing services to children, a playground or recreation center, a public park, a library, or a game arcade that is open to persons under 21 years of age, except when included in an established publication intended for general readership; on or in a public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; on or in a publicly owned or operated property; within 1,000 feet of a substance abuse or treatment facility; or on a campus for post secondary education.
  • An advertisement for marijuana or any marijuana product must contain each of the following warnings, that must be plainly visible and at least half the font size of an advertisement on a sign, and no smaller than size nine font when the advertisement is in printed form; warnings in audio advertisements must be intelligible and played at the same speed as the advertisement:
    • “Marijuana has intoxicating effect’s and may be habit forming and addictive”;
    • “Marijuana impairs concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under its influence.”;
    • “There are health risks associated with consumption of marijuana.”;
    • “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.”;
    • “Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.”
  • A licensed marijuana establishment that advertises by means of web page must utilize appropriate measures to ensure that individuals visiting the web page are 21 years of age or older.
  • A licensed marijuana establishment may not engage in advertising by means of marketing directed towards location-based devices, including cellular phones, unless the marketing is a mobile device application installed on the device by the owner of the device who is 21 years of age or older and the application includes a permanent and easy opt-out feature.
  • As long as no more than 30 percent of the event’s participants and audience is reasonably expected to be under 21 years of age, a licensed marijuana establishment may sponsor an industry trade show; a charitable event; a sports event or competition; a concert; or any other event approved in advance by the board.
  • A licensed marijuana establishment may not encourage the sale of marijuana or a marijuana product by using give away coupons for marijuana or a marijuana product as promotional materials; by conducting games or competitions related to the consumption of marijuana or a marijuana product; by providing promotional materials or activities of a manner or type that would be especially appealing to children; or by holding promotional activities outside of the licensed premises.

Medical Use of Marijuana Registry Applicant

Link: https://health.alaska.gov/dph/vitalstats/pages/marijuana.aspx

  • a statement signed by the patient’s physician (A) stating that the physician personally examined the patient and that the examination took place in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship and setting out the date the examination occurred;
  • stating that the patient has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition;
  • stating that the physician has considered other approved medications and treatments that might provide relief, that are reasonably available to the patient, and that can be tolerated by the patient, and that the physician has concluded that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana;
  • a sworn application on a form provided by the department containing the following information:
    • the name, address, date of birth, and Alaska driver’s license or identification card number of the patient;
    • the name, address, and telephone number of the patient’s physician;
    • the name, address, date of birth, and Alaska driver’s license or identification card number of the patient’s primary caregiver and alternate caregiver if either is designated at the time of application, along with the statements required under of this section; and
    • if the patient is a minor, a statement by the minor’s parent or guardian that the patient’s physician has explained the possible risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana and that the parent or guardian consents to serve as the primary caregiver for the patient and to control the acquisition, possession, dosage, and frequency of use of marijuana by the patient.

Debilitating Medical Condition AS17.37.070

  • Means cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or treatment for any of these conditions;
  • any chronic or debilitating disease or treatment for such diseases, which produces, for a specific patient, one or more of the following, and for which, in the professional opinion of the patient’s physician, such condition or conditions reasonably may be alleviated by the medical use of the marijuana: cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic or multiple sclerosis; or
  • any other medical condition, or treatment for such condition, approved by the department, under regulations adopted under AS17.37.060 or approval of a petition submitted under AS17.37.060.

Marijuana License Application

Who has to be listed on license application?

  • Applicants for marijuana establishment licenses must list all persons with a direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the license. If the application is being submitted by an LLC or Corporation, the affiliate section of the application must contain all human persons who have any interest in the entity. If members of the LLC or shareholders of a corporation are themselves entities, they must be further reduced to human persons with a financial interest in the operation of a license. All persons must be listed.
  • All persons with a direct or indirect financial interest must be Alaska residents.

Marijuana Ads / Publisher’s Affidavit

  • The following requirements must be met to get your application to the Marijuana Control Board:
    • Notify the public of your intent to open a marijuana establishment at your proposed location by following the stipulations laid out in 3 AAC 306.025.
    • Post a copy of your Public Notice (created for you based on the information you provide by the online licensing database) for 10 days at your proposed premises and at a conspicuous nearby location such as a post office or grocery store bulletin board.
    • Send a copy of your Public Notice to your local government(s), and to your community council if the establishment will be in the Municipality of Anchorage or Mat-Su Borough..
  • Place an advertisement (created for you by the online licensing database) notifying the public of your intent to open a marijuana establishment in a newspaper of general circulation in the area you intend to operate once per week for three consecutive weeks.
  • Complete all of the supplemental forms specific to your license type, including your Operating plan and various affidavits.
  • Submit fingerprint cards for each person listed on your application.
  • Submit payment, in person or by mail.
  • Complete any requirements or stipulations laid out by your local government(s).
  • After your application is deemed complete by the AMCO director per 3 AAC 306.025(d), it will be submitted to your local government(s) who will have up to 60 days to protest the application.
  • The complete application packet will then be posted on our website during the 30- day objection period described under 3 AAC 306.065.
  • Within 90 days after your application is deemed complete, it will be considered by the board at the next regularly scheduled MCB meeting.
  • You must obtain this from the newspaper that published your advertisement after your advertisement has run for the time frame you requested. The affidavit should include a copy of the advertisement.
  • The address listed in the advertisement must be for the proposed marijuana establishment. You may not run an ad for a different address and change the address later. You may not run an ad for an address where you have no intention of operating the premises. You should check with your local government to make sure you are not running an advertisement for a premises address that is not zoned for a licensed marijuana establishment.

Marijuana Handler Permit

Marijuana Inventory Tracking System

  • The State of Alaska, AMCO has entered into a contract with Franwell to provide a marijuana inventory tracking solution. The contract was awarded in March of 2016 with deployment of the system in May of 2016.

Marijuana Establishment License

  • List of applicants by status is contained in a spreadsheet on AMCO’s website. The spreadsheet will be updated every other week. Applications may have moved to another status with the two weeks between updates of the information reflected in the spreadsheet.
  • Secure a location. All licenses are premises based, meaning that the first question to answer is where the licensed premises will be located. Applicants must demonstrate a right of possession to the property. You must submit a lease or rental agreement if you do not own the property.
  • Zoning is a local matter, other than the buffer zones set out in 3 AAC 306.010. The Marijuana Control Board will only issue licenses connected to a physical place where the license type is allowed by the local government. The Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office cannot advise any potential applicant if the address chosen is locally zoned in such a way that a commercial marijuana establishment would be permitted in that location; contact your local government.
  • The regulations in 3 AAC 306 provide for six types of marijuana establishment licenses:
  • Retail Marijuana Store
  • Standard Cultivation Facility
  • Limited Cultivation Facility
  • Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility
  • Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing Facility
  • Testing Facility


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