Following a day long hearing, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly passed a moratorium that will prohibit recreational marijuana dispensaries until October 19.
Additionally, city officials will not issue permits or even consider any land use permits and other documentation until the moratorium is expired. This means that there will be no plans for cultivation centers either.
Thankfully the moratorium does not effect the meat and potatoes of the historic law that passed last November, which still goes into effect on February 24.
Although dispensaries will not open doors for operation, Alaskans will be permitted to use cannabis recreationally, possess up to 1 ounce of dried flowers and grow up to six plants under Measure 2.
State officials have until November 24 to finalize regulations regarding dispensaries and retail marijuana sales. The first permit for a retail store is expected to be issued no later than February 24, 2016.
Many prospective cannabis entrepreneurs, who publicly testified at the hearing, stated that the delay will hurt economic activity and their abilities to prepare for the state’s permitting process.
“I want to see Juneau become a forerunner,”
business owner, Tracy LaBarge, told the Assembly. “I want to see it done in a very responsible and classy way.”
Discussions delved into public use specifics and whether or not further laws will be needed to prevent public consumption.
The current language of Measure 2, and some city smoke bans, prevents all cannabis use outside the home. To not encourage use and activity back to the grey or black markets, Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski asked the CBJ law department to draft an amendment to define a private club for use of marijuana. This will give adults a place to consume since most rental properties and hotels will not allow inside cannabis use.
Fellow member of the Assembly, Jesse Palomino, cited it as an additional source of tax revenue for the city.