Cannabis is still sweeping the United States, creating unprecedented laws, profits, and business opportunities – but not every business opportunity is a legal one. Charlo Greene, the former television news KTVA reporter from Alaska who famously quit on the air by saying “F— it, I quit,” is now facing the music for starting and running an illegal cannabis club in her home state prior to medical and recreational legalization. She quit her reporting job in 2014 to start the Alaska Cannabis Club, but she never obtained the certification she needed to run the club legally in her state.
Cannabis Laws in Alaska
Alaska’s cannabis laws allow adults (21 and over) to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants (3 of them mature at any one time), according to NORML. The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office handles all cannabis laws, issues, and regulations, and AS https://investors.massroots.com/blog/georgias-road-to-cannabis-legalization17.38 was passed by Alaska citizens in 2014 and allowed commercial marijuana establishments and regulations to be created and adopted. The regulations began on February 21, 2016, nearly two years after Greene made her live announcement about owning the Alaska Cannabis Club. On June 9, 2016, Alaska approved the first marijuana grow, testing lab, and dispensary licenses in the recreationally and medically legal state. NORML states that “Marijuana sales by unlicensed entities remain subject to criminal penalties” in Alaska, meaning that Charlo Greene will come under the full weight of the law for illegally operating a cannabis business prior to regulations instatement. It is also legal in Alaska to consume cannabis in retail cannabis stores.
What the Alaska Cannabis Club and Charlo Greene Did Wrong
Charlo Greene’s business failed to obtain the proper certifications it needed in order to conduct a cannabis business in Alaska, but other businesses did. Greene was charged because she was the registered owner of the club, and there are also two other businesses who were charged for the same issue. Although the club was set up prior to regulations, the state of Alaska believes that this in no way gave Greene the right to start up a retail cannabis business of her own accord. The Alaska Cannabis Club sold memberships to the general public, and in turn allowed people to “donate” money and receive marijuana for themselves, according to Fox News. Greene’s Alaska Cannabis Club was raided numerous times by the Canadian authorities “because they started operations before regulations were in place.”
Charlo Greene’s Charges
The charges being brought against Charlo, who stated that her case is a “modern day lynching,” may very well be setting an example for those who follow her. The drug charges Greene is facing in Alaska are now numbering 14, with combined maximum penalties of 54 years. Greene stated in High Times that after dedicating her life to fighting for cannabis, she feels her peers have “abandoned” her, saying she has “never felt more alone.” At her first court date, only one person out of the 4,000 that her cannabis club served was there to support her. Greene is pleading guilty to all charges and believes that the Alaska Police Department, who has raided her club several times over the past few years, conducted “unlawful body searches on patients” as well as threatening them with arrest, destroying their cameras, and seizing vehicles. Greene’s charges include 10 felonies and four additional misdemeanors – High Times noted that a conviction could mean up to 24 years in prison for the ganjapreneur. Because the club was a sole proprietorship under the law, Greene is being held responsible for any and all transactions conducted as a result of the club’s existence.