cannabis

KDLL

 

Nearly three years after the first retail cannabis store opened in Kenai, the city council is still working to tailor local rules to the local market.

 

 


       It won't be formally addressed until its next regular meeting, but last night the Kenai City Council heard from a couple cannabis store owners about proposed restrictions to hours of operation.

Ron Isaacs of The Gardens on the Spur Highway in Kenai was against any limiting of store hours beyond what the state requires. He pointed out that only the hours of marijuana stores in surrounding jurisdictions were considered when coming up with the proposed restrictions.

The U.S. Senate is on recess this month and Senator Lisa Murkowski has been making the rounds across the state, including stops on the Kenai. Last week, she was in Soldotna to speak with the Alaska Municipal League.


At its meeting Wednesday night, the Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission took action that could both expand and restrict cannabis-buying opportunities in Kenai, if the city council agrees.

  The Kenai City Council last night bucked the emerging trend around the state and decided not to allow on-site consumption of cannabis products inside city limits. The vote was five to one on the ordinance to ban the practice outright after a motion to replace it with a two-year moratorium instead failed to get a second.

City councilmembers Jim Glendenning and Glenese Petty introduced the original.

Even though commercial cannabis sales have been legal in Alaska for a couple of years, the state’s position is still in conflict with federal law. That message was brought home by the U.S. Coast Guard at a recent Kenai City Council meeting.

Lt. Scott Peters told the council that the Coast Guard Auxiliary will be doing boating safety checks at the Kenai Dock duding low tide, while he and rangers from State Parks will be out on the Kenai River doing boating safety checks.

At last night's Kenai City Council meeting, the debate over on-site consumption of cannabis in stores stretched for an hour-plus, but eventually, the council voted to postpone the ordinance until the next council meeting. 

The ordinance would ban the practice, which was recently approved by the state. 

 

The Kenai city council recently voted to not allow on site consumption of cannabis inside city limits. Now, it may take the formal step of banning it entirely.

An hour of debate had already passed Wednesday night when the Kenai City Council found out that the ordinance before them did not accomplish what they thought it would.

The debate was ostensibly over whether to allow on-site consumption of marijuana in the city limits. The State of Alaska has already passed rules allowing it.

However, the ordinance before the council was only to regulate on-site consumption, not whether to allow it. 

 

The Kenai City Council will consider whether to amend its cannabis laws this week. There’s an ordinance on the agenda that would allow for onsite consumption of cannabis products in licensed businesses.

 

The city of Soldotna has wrestled with how to handle the new industry in city limits since voters statewide approved commercial and recreational uses back in 2014.

 

 


 

Where can you go to smoke a little cannabis? That was a question tackled this week by the state Marijuana Control Board.

 

 


After two years of official, legal business, trends are beginning to emerge in the nascent cannabis industry. In this hour, we hear from local producers and retailers who have figured out what's working and what isn't and what they hope to address soon with the state Marijuana Control Board.

www.leafly.com

 

Nearly two years after cannabis business went legal in Alaska, the industry is still growing in the city of Kenai.

When cannabis first made inroads to social acceptability starting about 20 years ago, it was through medical marijuana. There was enough clinical and anecdotal evidence by that point that there were ingredients in cannabis that soothed anxiety in terminally ill patients, gave appetites back to cancer patients and was good for reducing inter-ocular pressure for what would become a small "epidemic" of "glaucoma." Now recreational cannabis, in the form of marijuana, is widely available, and on its coattails comes CBD, a cannabinoid in cannabis like THC.

 

Despite a vote to legalize and regulate commercial cannabis sales in 2014, economists are only now beginning to put together a picture a the new industry, which is still barely a blip on the radar compared to the state’s other big industries.

 


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Slowly, the date April 20, or "4-20," is taking on a different meaning in America, especially in states such as Alaska where recreational cannabis has been legalized. KDLL's Jay Barrett visited a couple of the Central Peninsula's cannabis retailers and spoke with customers and staff about the informal holiday.


In this first episode of Econ 919, we take you to the recent Economic Outlook Forum and introduce you to one of the newest players in the central Kenai Peninsula's economy. And we wrap up with some potentially encouraging news about your PFD.


Two items on Wednesday night's Soldotna City Council agenda will mark the beginning of the end in legalizing cannabis within city limits. One ordinance limits operations to commercially-zoned areas of the city only, while the other ordinance sets up the framework for taxing the product.

What the ordinances do not do, though, is allow any commercial growing of marijuana in the city, regardless of zoning.

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  On Wednesday night the Soldotna City Council voted to tack on another 45 days to the city’s prohibition against all things cannabis related.

“Basically what’s happening is we’re trying to figure out what do with marijuana in the city. And this allows us to buy a little bit more time before we have to make a decision,” said Mayor Nels Anderson. “Okay, are there any council comments? Seeing none, can we have the vote, please?”

After about an hour of testimony and debate, the Soldotna City Council took its final vote on an ordinance that would permanently ban the sale or cultivation of cannabis inside city limits.

Councilmembers Tim Cashman, Linda Murphy and Paul Whitney voted in favor of the permanent ban, while Councilmembers Lisa Parker, Regina Daniels and Tyson Cox voted against.

"We have three yes votes and three no votes," said City Clerk Shellie Saner.