marijuana

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.

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.


Marc Theiler, owner of Red Run Cannabis Co., in Kenai, talks about his business plan and the growth of the commercial marijuana industry in the face of federal challenges.

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.

The Kenai Peninsula’s cannabis industry seems to be swinging into high gear, though some challenges remain for local marijuana business owners.

Retail cannabis has been available on the Kenai since late last year. How's business? Is everyone playing by the rules? What challenges have growers and sellers faced? What's a dab? 

On this week's Kenai Conversation, cannabis entrepreneurs Patricia Patterson (High Bush Buds), Dollynda Phelps (Peace Frog Botanicals) and Leif Abel (Greatland Ganja) talk about their burgeoning industry, how it's contributing to the local economy and its prospects for the future.