Weed dispensaries in Anchorage, AK
Weed dispensaries in Anchorage, AK
Visiting a Dispensary in Anchorage, AK
Whether planning to spend the weekend on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or exploring the wildlife in the region, taking cannabis with you is quite common. For those traveling to see the glaciers or locals seeking a bit of relief from the day’s stress, finding a dispensary in Anchorage, Alaska doesn’t have to be difficult. Get to know the city’s marijuana laws and regulations before getting started.
The Lowdown on Anchorage Cannabis Laws
Marijuana is legal in Alaska for both recreational and medical use. Alaska was the third state to legalize recreational cannabis use.
Recreational Cannabis Laws in Anchorage
Measure 2, which was passed in 2014 and went into effect in February 2015, made recreational cannabis use legal in the state. This law allowed for the production, regulation, sale, and recreational use of cannabis.
The state also approved regulations for onsite consumption of cannabis in March of 2019, making it possible for each local jurisdiction to determine that location’s onsite regulation laws. However, as of April of 2020, the Anchorage Assembly has voted to reject a measure that would allow for cannabis use on store premises.
Medical Cannabis Laws in Anchorage
Medicinal use of cannabis has been legalized since 1998, after the Alaska Medical Marijuana Initiative was passed, making it just the second state in the country to decriminalize cannabis.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Anchorage
Medical marijuana use is acceptable in Anchorage under the state’s laws and regulations. The Medical Marijuana Registry is run by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Those who meet the qualifications set by the state must obtain a signed physician statement outlining this. Having had a medical examination in the last 16 months with that provider prior to the application is necessary. Conditions covered include:
Seizures including those related to epilepsy
Ongoing muscle spasms
Those who meet qualifications will need to submit a formal application with the physician’s statement outlining the qualifying debilitating medical condition, as well as a copy of their identification card or state-issued driver’s license. There is a $25 fee to obtain a medical marijuana card in Anchorage.
Where is it Legal to Consume Cannabis in Anchorage
Public use of marijuana is not legal and carries a significant fine. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle or other equipment under the influence of marijuana. Those visiting Anchorage shouldn’t purchase cannabis to smoke in area parks or hotel rooms, as there are strict public use limitations present, and it is completely illegal to use cannabis in a national park.
In Anchorage, you can:
Buy and carry up to an ounce of marijuana at the age of 21
Give and receive up to an ounce of marijuana without cost
Give, but not sell, up to six immature marijuana plants to those who are over the age of 21
Carry marijuana in your vehicle, as long as it’s in a sealed, unopened container and stored in your trunk or behind the last row of seats
Note that you must bring an ID to purchase cannabis.
While private use is legal, any private property owner can restrict the use of cannabis on their property.
How to Buy Cannabis at an Anchorage Dispensary
Numerous medical and recreational dispensaries in Anchorage are available. Each location sets their own hours of operation, but most are available from 9am-10pm in Anchorage. Commercial access to cannabis is somewhat unevenly spread around the state, but there are numerous locations in Anchorage itself, generally near other retail shops. They are also easy to find near tourist destinations, making recreational access a bit easier.
Cannabis Taxes in Anchorage
Alaska regulations for cannabis use involve the right for the legislature to impose taxes on purchases of it. The Marijuana Tax, which was established with Measure 2, allows for the state to levy taxes on the product. This is collected from licensed marijuana cultivation locations as well. The tax applies when the product is sold or transferred from a cultivation facility to a retailer or to a manufacturing facility. At the time of its inception, that task was $50 per ounce.
An update to this law was made in 2019 when additional taxes were applied:
Mature bud and flower cannabis are taxed at the same rate of $50 per ounce
Immature or otherwise abnormal buds are taxed at $25 per ounce
Clones are taxed at $1 per clone
Trim is taxed at $15 per ounce.
Cannabis cultivators are required to pay these taxes each month to the Department of Revenue.
The collected tax revenue goes to several uses, with 50% going towards state recidivism reduction programs, 25% to general government funding, 25% to drug treatment and marijuana educational programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The price of an 8th in Anchorage
The average price of an 8th in Anchorage is $60. Some of the strains you can buy at this price include Alpen Glow, Honey Banana, Double Stuffed, and Vanilla Gorilla. SnowCap Romance by the Connoisseur goes for $55 an 8th while Purp and BioFruit strains each sell at $52.5.
The most popular strain in Anchorage
White Widow is the most popular strain in Anchorage. With a pungent scent, White Widow is a fast-acting hybrid with a strong chemical scent and pine flavor profile.
Laws and regulations in Anchorage
Only people 21 years of age and over may legally possess or use cannabis for adult-use, or recreational, purposes.
It is illegal to use cannabis in any public place, aside from designated medical marijuana dispensaries and clubs.
Responsible consumption occurs on private property though some property owners or homeowner associations may prohibit weed use.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of any amount of cannabis.
Exporting cannabis across states is strictly illegal and can result in a steep penalty.
Adults 21 years of age and above are allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants, with no more than three mature or flowering plants.
It is legal to transport up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis and no more than six cannabis plants.
Flower/concentrate/edible possession limit in Anchorage
Individuals 21 years of age and above are allowed to possess up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis. Moreover, adults are allowed to possess up to six cannabis plants as long as not more than three are flowering or mature.
Difference between a storefront and a dispensary
A storefront in Anchorage sells cannabis products for adult, or recreational, use while a dispensary sells cannabis products to meet the needs of medical marijuana patients. Because of the different uses, there are different customer experiences in storefronts and dispensaries. For example, in an Anchorage dispensary, patients may find a waiting room before they get invited to the salesroom. In the salesroom, they discuss their needs with the budtender, who suggests the best product to treat the condition. You need a medical marijuana card in compliance with State law to enter a dispensary, while anyone over the age of 21 with valid state-issued identification may visit a storefront.
Difference between adult-use, or recreational, and medical
Adult-use, or recreational, cannabis in Anchorage refers to weed that is used without any medical necessity, while medical marijuana is consumed for the purpose of treating an underlying condition. Adult-use, or recreational, cannabis usually has a high amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the “high” effect. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, is a term for derivatives of the cannabis plant that are used to relieve chronic symptoms. The most common derivative used for medicinal purposes is cannabidiol (CBD). Medical marijuana requires a recommendation from a qualified physician, while adult-use, or recreational, marijuana requires no recommendation. The medical marijuana tax rate is lower, making medical marijuana cheaper than adult-use, or recreational, weed.
Medical patient benefits in Anchorage
Anchorage residents who are below 21 years of age (minors) are eligible for a medical marijuana card if they have a debilitating condition proven by a licensed physician. Here are the benefits of having a medical marijuana card in Anchorage:
Legal protection - You can use and travel with marijuana across the state without any legal risk.
Access to clubs and dispensaries - cannabis clubs and dispensaries only allow patients with medical marijuana cards issued by the state government of Alaska.
Tax benefits - medical cannabis is taxed at a lower rate, making it less expensive for qualified patients.
More products - medical patients with certain conditions can access cannabis products with higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content if it helps them gain relief.
Medical marijuana information in Anchorage
The patient must be an Alaska resident with a valid Alaska ID as proof of residency. A bank statement, utility bill or any other document that proves you reside in Alaska can be used in case you don’t have your Alaska ID.
Patients must obtain legitimate medical records from their primary care physician describing their diagnosis and bring those records for their medical marijuana evaluation appointment.
They should obtain written documentation from a medical marijuana physician licensed in the State of Alaska showing that he or she is a qualifying patient.
With the certification, the patient should register with the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics into the Medical Marijuana Registry. Thereafter, the patient receives a medical marijuana identification card.
Minors seeking to register with the medical marijuana program will need the aid of a guardian over the age of 21 to register and act as caregiver.
Where does the Anchorage tax revenue go?
50 percent of Anchorage cannabis tax revenue is split between the departments of public safety, health and social services, and corrections to keep people out of prisons. The remaining part of the tax revenue is used to support programs such as:
Fighting domestic violence through counseling and awareness campaigns.
Substance abuse treatment programs.
Creation of community programs that help convicts get employment after completing their jail term.
Housing assistance for Fairbanks residents who cannot afford decent homes.