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Alaska Considers Three Proposals to Legalize Onsite Consumption in Cannabis Retail Stores

The proposals differ on whether to limit onsite consumption to edibles or to allow smoking.

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The Alaska Marijuana Control Board is set to consider three different proposals that would allow individuals to consume cannabis products in retail stores. Local canna-business leaders have lobbied for onsite consumption, arguing that creating a legal area for public consumption will boost sales and spur new business opportunities.

One proposal would allow customers to try any cannabis products in the store, but would require them to leave the premises afterwards. Retail stores would not be allowed to provide entertainment for stoned customers such as TVs or pool tables, but could provide couches, chairs, and coffee tables. This proposal includes a two-year moratorium on these sites.

A second proposal would allow consumption of edibles onsite, but would prohibit smoking in the store. A third proposal would allow any cannabis products that have been purchased at an establishment to be consumed onsite. This proposal would require all facilities to invest in proper ventilation systems to control the amount of smoke. Retail stores that wanted to allow onsite consumption would also need to get approval from local authorities under this proposal.

Several Alaska companies have filed applications for onsite consumption, even before it has been approved, to show their willingness to participate if the board decides to allow it. These proposals will be discussed during a meeting held between July 11th and 14th. A 30-day public comment period will follow, after which the board will vote on the issue.

However, even if approved, full endorsement of onsite consumption is not expected to happen until next year.