Alaska’s marijuana ballot initiative has some Fairbanks entrepreneurs organizing in hopes of being able to grow and sell the drug. Proposition 2 would have the state regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Fairbanks resident Brandon Emmett is Executive Director of the recently formed Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation. He says he wants the organization.
“To kind of be a voice for the Alaskan people with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and the legislature, both for people who are consumers and people who look to profit off the industry,” Emmett said.
Colorado is the only state that currently allows sale of recreational marijuana and it’s taking in tax revenue on the business. Washington State is in the process of implementing a similar program, and Emmett says if Alaska goes that way, his group wants to be ready to help fill out legal details.
“There are certain provisions of the bill that state persons over 21 can use, they can obtain a certain amount of plants in their home, but all of the time, place and manner of different establishments, what the advertisements can be, how these establishments can be run, none of that is really set yet, so our coalition is really the next step,” he said.
Emmett envisions consumer demand if Prop 2 passes.
“I think if people aren’t afraid of getting busted, they’re gonna go out and buy it on Friday nights just as they would alcohol, or as a substitute for alcohol,” he said.
Emmet and a few partners want to get into the marijuana business, growing and selling the drug. So does fellow Fairbanks resident Mystiek Lockery. She’s not a member of Emmett’s coalition, but has a plan.
“My business is gonna be called Mystiek’s Marijuana Dispensary, Nursery and Supply. I thought it would be really fun to open up a little section of it and have a smokers club, similar to cigar clubs,” she said.
Lockery says she’s gotten a business license and is trying to educate the public in anticipation of the November election, and the potential passage of Prop 2.
“I have been preparing a website, because I am extremely pro accurate information,” she said. “Most of the people out there have never had access to a body of information that is accurate. We’ve got a lot of propaganda going on that just misleads and is just straight untrue sometimes.”
If Prop 2 is approved by Alaska voters this fall, the state will have 9 months to hammer out provisions for implementing the marijuana law. The coalition’s Emmett wants to work with regulators to ensure there’s enough lag time so that only marijuana from licensed growers, not the black market, goes up for sale.