City could soon pass local regulations for marijuana operations

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Marijuana plants. (Image courtesy of Brett Levin / Flickr)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council may pass local regulations for marijuana business two years after first sitting down to hash out the details.

Alaskans voted to legalize marijuana business and cultivation in 2014, and the state granted municipalities the ability to form what that looks like in their communities. In 2016, the city council created an advisory group to do that.

The advisory committee met nine times between June 2016 and April 2017, and the council will review the suggested regulations tonight at its regular meeting, possibly for the final time.

Regulations would include a necessary distance of 500 feet between the facility entrance and the edge of a school property and the prohibition of edibles.

A common concern with edibles is the potential to mistake them for regular food products.

City councilman Randy Bishop co-chaired the advisory committee with Councilwoman Laura Arboleda. At a work session this week, he said there’s room for change in the community’s position on edibles.

“I think people are gonna evolve as well as federal law and so things can expand, but we don’t need to go all in at once. I think we really did the best we could with taking a conservative approach with our community members in mind.”

He says the advisory group plans to meet again a year after the city passes the regulations to see if it should reconsider its stand on edibles.

The council will hold the second reading and public hearing on the marijuana ordinance at its regular meeting tonight, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers. The meeting will also be aired live on KMXT.

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