A woman who wants to open the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary is getting set to open her doors on Feb. 24, more than a year before the state issues any licenses for commercial marijuana sales.


Charlo Greene owns the Alaska Cannabis Club. Greene says paid members come to the club to smoke, socialize and take classes but says no marijuana is sold there. She says when she starts supplying medical cardholders with products later this month, she won’t be violating the law.


“As long as we aren’t selling, we aren’t violating,” said Greene.


In order to get drugs or marijuana infused products, Green says patients will need both a medical marijuana card and cash, but only in the form of a donation. She said legal representation has assured her that will keeps things legal.


But the head of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board — which is charged with regulating marijuana in the state — doesn’t agree. Cynthia Franklin says if Greene wants to operate a business, even a nonprofit where money and marijuana are involved, she will need to apply for a state license in May 2016, just like anyone else.


Anything before that date, according to Franklin, is breaking the law. Franklin said the state has no intention of setting up separate medical marijuana dispensaries for medical marijuana patients.


Greene says she is willing to take the risk because she believes medical marijuana patients need a way to get their drugs sooner rather than later.