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Where’s the weed? Anchorage pot shops cope with cannabis shortage

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Andy Nitchman - 7:30 PM January 19, 2017

If you’re hoping to pick up some legal marijuana in Anchorage, you may be out of luck.

Currently, there are three stores open locally. Budtenders at Alaska Fireweed say they still have some flower on their shelves, but Dankorage and Artic Herbery say they’re sold out.

It didn’t take long for Anchorage’s first pot shop to run out of product.

Arctic Herbery owner Bryant Thorp says he went through 13 pounds of marijuana within the first five days of business.

“There’s no way to keep up with the demand right now,” Thorp said.

In order to keep his doors open, Thorp has stocked his shelves with edibles and plant clones.

He also has a small grow operation but says he needs help from larger grower to keep up with his customers.

“Its a slow process and I knew it was going to be like this from the get go,” said Thorpe. “I hoped it wouldn’t be that bad but there’s just not a lot of cultivators out there.”

As of this week, there are 29 growers operating in Alaska but some say that’s not enough to cover the state’s 13 retail stores.

Enlighten Alaska in Spenard plans to start welcoming customers on Febuary 2nd.

“We just want to open our doors and get some cash flow,” Enlighten Alaska co-owner Leah Levinton said Thursday.

Because of Alaska’s commercial cannabis shortage, she says the family-run business will only open three days a week until March.

It’s an issue of supply and demand, and the pressure is on. Arctic Herbery is expecting another delivery of bud later this month. Dankorage staff say they should have more by Saturday.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

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