Kodiak City Council approves new marijuana retail store application

Marijuana (Creative Commons photo by Brett Levin)

A Kodiak dispensary is one step closer to opening its doors after getting City Council approval on Thursday. For now, High Rise LLC won’t be authorized to sell edible marijuana products.

The Kodiak City Council moved to approve an application for a new marijuana dispensary in downtown Kodiak at Thursday night’s meeting. The retail store application was brought forward by High Rise LLC. Its owner, local resident Jack Schactler, assured the council that the company would be locally owned and operated during the public hearing section of the meeting.

“We will create multiple new jobs for the people of Kodiak, as well as tax income for the city,” Schactler said. “As marijuana advocates, we are excited to provide this new retail service to the people of Kodiak in the most professional way possible.”

Half an hour later, Councilman Randall Bishop proposed the council move forward with a letter of non-objection with conditions. In this case, that the dispensary be prohibited from selling edible marijuana products.

According to Forbes, other pot-friendly states like Colorado and Washington have seen edibles sales skyrocket in the last few years, especially as the smoking rate among adults declines. Bishop acknowledged that point in his closing statements, explaining the city council’s approach to the relatively new industry as cautious.

“We are definitely not opponents of edibles,” he said. “Just to clarify, I believe we decided to, maybe in a year, take a look at it and just take that conservative approach for the community to feel safe towards our youth and whatnot as this is a new industry prospering in our community. With everything that is new comes a lot of unknown variables that will get figured out.”

Schactler said Friday that he wasn’t surprised by the city’s choice to prohibit to edibles sales, adding that he hopes the regulation opens up in the future.

“It’s more of a conservative approach, which is fine,” he said. “We just need to show everyone that marijuana is just a normal business. This is strictly business, this is not anything different than the liquor store down the street.”

The motion to issue a letter of non-objection with conditions passed unanimously among the five City Council members present. Schactler says High Rise LLC will have another public hearing before the Borough Assembly on April 18, then a state board hearing, and finally a business inspection. He says he expects the company will open for business no earlier than June.