The Anchorage Assembly has voted 7 to 4 to place an initiative on the April 7th city election ballot that would legalize the on-site consumption of marijuana at legal marijuana retail outlets. Under current law consuming marijuana at marijuana, stores are illegal.
Voters would have to change Anchorage’s workplace safety code banning indoor smoking, but the state code allows for on-site marijuana smoking, Economic and Community Development Director Christopher Schutte told the Associated Press. On-site marijuana smoking at shops would be heavily regulated: Customers would be in separate areas from other retail customers and employees, who could monitor and enter the areas in emergencies.
Advocates on both sides of the issue said they are crafting strategies to try to convince voters.
In Alaska marijuana is legal for those 21 and older who can possess up to an ounce of cannabis, and cultivate up to six cannabis plants. This has been the case since 2015 when Ballot Measure 2 – approved by voters in 2014 – took effect. The first marijuana store in the state opened its doors in October of 2016.
Under state law consuming cannabis in public remains illegal, though it’s not a criminal offense (rather a $100 civil infraction).