On-site pot consumption may be decided Wednesday
Marijuana users will have to wait until Wednesday to see if they will finally be able to buy and smoke their pot at retail pot shops -- with room for on-site consumption.
Back in February the State's Marijuana Control Board failed to vote to approve on-site consumption. Tuesday night, employees at the Cannabaska Marijuana Dispensary say they have their fingers crossed -- hoping the board votes in favor for approval at all dispensaries.
General manager Lorenzo Gonzalez says an approval will not only be historic but also help his business expand tremendously.
"Our second business, which is located in downtown, is gonna be the first lounge in the United States for onsite consumption," he said. "It's going to be here in Alaska."
Gonzalez says the lounge is still in the building phase and will be similar to a coffee shop.
"We're planning on it to be an actual lounge for the tourists and even the locals to have a nice friendly environment to smoke as well as maybe have a bite to eat with a dessert," he said.
Board director Ericka McConnel says since March, they've read over 500 pages and listened to 60 days of public comments. She believes the current regulations are not ready yet to be adopted Tuesday and feels some work still needs to be done before being approved.
Although this is of great interest to the marijuana industry and smokers alike, she says things are still in a wait and see mode.
"I think there's some reluctance to be the pioneers on this issue. Other states and municipalities in the Lower 48 are wrestling with this issue. I think everyone kinda looking to see you know who's gonna go first," said McConnell.
If the vote doesn't fall in the favor of marijuana smokers, Gonzalez says those in the industry pushing for on-site consumption will not give up.
"We definitely would feel it here. A lot of crushed hopes you know, but we'd still keep on pushing for it another time whenever that would be," said Gonzalez.
It's a vote that could impact the hundreds of millions of dollars generated buying pot. If the vote doesn't happen Wednesday, the Board will schedule a special meeting between now, and their next regular meeting happening in Juneau on January 24 and 25.
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