It’s now official. On August 19, Alaska voters will be voting on whether to legalize recreational marijuana in that state. The Washington Post reports the following on this upcoming initiative:
As in Colorado and Washington state — where the substance was legalized as of the start of the year — the Alaska measure would allow adults 21 and older to own, smoke and buy the drug while also allowing individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants.
It would be regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board or a newly created Marijuana Control Board. Unlike the Washington and Colorado policies, Alaska’s would tax pot at a flat $50 an ounce rather than using a percentage of the cost. It would be paid by the cultivator of the plant. The state estimates it will cost between $3.7 and $7 million to implement in the first year.
Alaskan voters approved marijuana for medical use in 1998 in a 59 percent to 41 percent vote. But a similar initiative to approve the substance for recreational use two years later failed by the exact same margin.
Though Alaska typically votes Republican, its Republicans tend to have a libertarian streak and it is widely believed that Alaska will get the votes this time around, making it the third state (Washington and Colorado being the first two) with legalized recreational cannabis. Oregon (which just today started a dispensary registration system for medical marijuana) is expected to legalize recreational marijuana via a November initiative.
Our cannabis lawyers are already working with a number of companies that have plans for marketing their branded products in all three Pacific Northwest States, once legalization is complete and we will be posting tomorrow on how that can be legally accomplished.