"Getting to know different strains, where the plant comes from, and what works for them — because everybody is so different, so just the knowledge is being spread about these great strains."
"We have a grow facility here, we have a dispensary, and it's quiet," said Scott Hahn, Skagway Borough Chief. "It's a good story I guess, if you're pro-marijuana."
'Alaskans love their weed, so there is definitely a demand for it,' says the owner of a Skagway grow-op
Remedy Shoppe owner Tara Bass said her business has no specific clientele. She says she sees everyone from elderly women to middle-aged businessmen in her shop.
'Positive changes in culture'
Marijuana is still illegal under U.S. federal law. In Alaska, the industry is regulated by state laws, and all operations and production has to be done in state, by Alaska residents.
Under Section 17.38.020 of the Alaska Statutes, it is legal for individuals 21 years of age and older to possess up to once ounce (approximately 28 grams) of marijuana for personal use. It is also legal to use, purchase and transport up to one ounce of marijuana anywhere in the state—with one major exception: You cannot legally use marijuana in public. Under Section 17.38.040 of the Alaska Statutes, using marijuana in public is a violation that is punishable by a fine of up to $100.
What is Legal in Alaska?
In addition to these crimes, it is also illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Alaska. Under Section 28.35.030 of the Alaska Statutes, driving under the influence of marijuana (or any other controlled substance) is subject to the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol. These penalties are determined based upon the defendant’s prior record (if any):
What is Illegal in Alaska?
Additionally, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that possessing up to four ounces of marijuana in your residence (for personal use) is protected by the right to privacy afforded under the Alaska Constitution. The Alaska Supreme Court has also ruled that residents can legally cultivate up to 25 plants in their homes.
When a person engages in action that causes civil damages while under the influence of a controlled substance and the intoxication contributed significantly to the damages, the person who sold or gave them the substance is strictly liable to him for the damages.
It is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000 to possess with intent to distribute less than 1 ounce of marijuana. Possession with intent to distribute an ounce or more of marijuana is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000.
The department shall revoke the driver’s license or permit, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license of a person not yet 18 years of age for 90 days when notified of an informal adjustment.
The court, after rendering judgment or within 60 days of doing so, may suspend imposition of a sentence or part of a sentence and place the offender on probation. For first time offenders, the court may suspend imposition of a sentence for up to 1 year or for the maximum duration of the sentence that may be imposed, whichever is greater, if it determines that it would be in the interest of justice.
While Alaska does recognize medical affirmative defenses for possession of marijuana, those defenses do not apply to hashish or concentrates.
Generally, legalization means a policy that supports a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers can buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.
Possession within 500 feet of school grounds, a recreation or youth center, or on a school bus is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000. It is an affirmative defense to this charge that the violation occurred entirely within the confines of a personal residence.
Possessing any amount of hashish or concentrate is considered misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fifth degree. Misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fifth degree is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a sentence of up to 1 year.
Adults may possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or to grow up to six marijuana plants (no more than three mature) for non-commercial purposes. Sharing or gifting 1 ounce or less, or 6 plants or less for personal use to persons at least 21 years of age is also permitted, however the consumption of cannabis in public remains an offense and is punishable by a fine of up to $100.