The Anchorage Assembly will take more time to consider allowing a marijuana business to set up shop near a church downtown.

The assembly delayed action at Tuesday night's meeting regarding Alaska Sense, which is looking to open a marijuana store on East Fourth Avenue near Cordova Street.

That would put it within the required 200-foot buffer of Hope Church, which operates the Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center. 

On Oct. 8, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz called on the assembly to deny the application.

Some members of the public waited nearly four hours Tuesday for a chance to speak. Most who gathered at the meeting opposed the measure.

"I would say, church, do what you're supposed to be doing. And assembly, you know what you're supposed to be doing. Say no," Shirley Smith said. "We don't need a whole bunch of pot shops here; we got enough of them."

Not everyone was against the proposed shop, however.

"I look forward to a future where churches and cannabis shops are in the same building because that's what we need to be do — we need to help people," Jake Warden said. 

The assembly will discuss the issue again at a special meeting Dec. 10.

That will give members time to get clarification about ordinances from the city's planning department.

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