Cannabis Cafes in Alaska
Are Alaskan pot cafes around the corner? Alaska has an interesting and kind of weird relationship with cannabis. On the one hand, the state seems to be one of the more progressive pot-friendly states in the country. Way back in 1975 it was the first state to allow residents to keep small amounts of pot for personal use. Then, a couple decades later in 1998, it legalized medical marijuana, and last year it voted to legalize recreational pot.
On the other hand, though, it’s been strangely slow in clearing the path for Alaskans to actually get their hands on weed—the state still doesn’t have any fully legal places where people can buy pot.
As Abby Haglage puts it, “there is still not a single place to buy it. It’s a cruel conundrum caused by the lack of a provision about dispensaries in the bill legalizing it.”
This weird bind—marijuana is legal but there’s nowhere to legally buy it—has forced many people to come up with creative ways to get the weed they need.
In recent years, for example, a number of non-profits have popped up to help pair people who have pot with medical patients who need pot.
While these kinds of programs have helped some people get easier access to weed, it’s just not enough.
Fortunately, though, Alaskan stoners, cannabis tourists, and medical marijuana patients may all be in for some good news in 2016, as the state prepares to open the nation’s first fully legal pot cafes.
The new state-wide rules, which are expected to go into effect sometime around mid-2016, will make it legal to consume marijuana in designated pot cafes, although individual cities can still decide whether or not to allow cafes inside their limits.
While no cannabis cafes are actually open yet, the topic is already generating a lot of buzz throughout the pot community.
Pointing to the huge global popularity of Amsterdam’s cannabis cafes, many experts are predicting that Alaska’s forthcoming cafes could become an important part of the state’s economy.
“The pot cafe is a star attraction of Amsterdam in the Netherlands,” explained investment planning expert Sean Williams. “Tourists flock from all over just to visit a pot cafe and legally partake of marijuana edibles.”
“Thus, the potential that tourism could pick up in Alaska because of its pot cafes is a very real possibility.”
That possibility becomes even more concrete when you realize that there are already somewhere around a million cruise ship passengers that visit Alaska every year, according to a report by NPR.
“With close to a million cruise ship passengers each year, marijuana cafes could mean an added attraction in Juneau,” the news source said.
But of course, let’s not get so excited about tourists that we overlook what these cafes will do for local stoners and medical pot patients. As far as Green Rush Daily is concerned, cannabis cafes are pretty much a pot head’s dream come true.