Alaska: On Site Marijuana Consumption Rules Finalized

Lawmakers and regulators have signed off on new regulations explicitly permitting adults to consume cannabis at specially licensed retailers.

Under the new rules, which take effect April 11, licensed cannabis retailers may apply with state regulators for an additional “on site consumption endorsement.” Local governments may challenge the applications in certain instances, or initiate a municipal vote to limit on site activities.

It is anticipated that the initial on site consumption areas may be approved by this summer.

While some local municipalities — such as Denver, Colorado and West Hollywood, California — already regulate on site consumption sites, Alaska is the first adult use jurisdiction to establish such regulations statewide.

“When these rules go into effect, Alaska will be the first state to finalize and approve statewide rules for on-site consumption. We expect more to follow suit in the not too distant future,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “Allowing cannabis consumption on-site is not just sensible business, particularly for states with large amounts of tourists who otherwise can’t consume in most hotels and other forms of lodging, but also as a social justice issue. Individuals in public housing can face expulsion if they consume on the property, which is problematic from a liberty perspective, but an even more dire concern for patients who are utilizing marijuana as an effective treatment for a debilitating illness.”

“By preventing retail outlets and other venues from being licensed and regulated for social consumption,” Altieri continued, “the civil liberties that come with marijuana legalization are still being kept at arms length from low-income individuals and members of other marginalized communities.”