City Marijuana Advisory Committee Split on Edibles

logo-w-sunburstKayla Desroches/KMXT

The City Marijuana Advisory Committee has a little more time before they need to turn in their suggestions on marijuana regulation to the Kodiak City Council. Last week, they gathered to go over the last few recommendations.

One issue that inspired a lot of discussion is the distance between a marijuana establishment and school property. At the meeting, the committee agreed to set two different standards with regard to buffer zones for schools and buffer zones for other structures.

For schools, there must be at least 500 feet between the door of the marijuana establishment and the school property line, whereas for other institutions, like churches and jails, there needs to be at least 500 feet door to door.

The committee then moved onto the topic of testing in residential areas, which has garnered a negative reaction from both council members and community members. Committee member Jonathan Strong said such a facility might put the neighborhood in danger.

“Some of the concerns we’re having – product in residential neighborhoods could cause potential opportunities for crime and other things in the community, so I think it would be good not to have them in residential areas for that reason.”

The committee decided to recommend that testing facilities be permitted in industrial, light industrial, business, and conservation districts, but not in residential areas.

Members were also split on edibles. On one hand, they’re concerned children would mistake them for candy, and on the other hand, edibles have become one preferred way to consume marijuana, especially for those who don’t want to smoke.

Co-chair Randy Bishop said he takes a 50 – 50 approach.

“When I look at things, I look kinda towards the future of how this industry is gonna be in 10 or 15 years and that’s one thing. We can decide because it’s something new – when people don’t know about something they’re hesitant, they’re cautious, but sooner or later, someone’s gonna sitting in these seats, changing these.”

He suggested the committee bring edibles back up before the city council when they talk about manufacturing facilities and the forms of marijuana that could be processed there – for instance tinctures and butters.

The city council will hold a special meeting to focus on the committee’s recommendations. It has not yet been scheduled.

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