Alaska Dispensery Laws

Alaska Cannabis Dispensary Laws and Licensing Procedures

Updated on November 10, 2020

In November 2014, voters in Alaska approved a measure to tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana by adults aged 21 and older. The measure became effective in February 2015, making Alaska the third state to legalize recreational cannabis.

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) — a division of Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development — is charged with administering the state’s cannabis laws, which are codifiez in Alaska Administrative Code Chapter 306. All applications for marijuana business licenses, including retail establishments, are processed through AMCO.

In March 2019, Alaska finalized legislation authorizing licensed marijuana retail businesses to apply for onsite consumption endorsements through AMCO. The fee for an onsite consumption endorsement application is $1,000, and there is a $2,000 fee for the actual endorsement once approved. Alaska is the first to enact a state-wide program for the licensing of cannabis consumption lounges.

On this page, you’ll find Alaska’s retail marijuana regulations and licensing procedures summarized in Q and A form.

Retail Cannabis Licensing in Alaska

Everything you need to know about opening a retail cannabis location in Alaska.

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) is responsible for overseeing and licensing marijuana businesses in Alaska.

In Alaska, all marijuana business licenses are premises-based, which means the first step in applying for a license is securing a suitable location. Proposed marijuana retail store locations must adhere to all local ordinances and zoning codes, as well as the buffer zones set forth in Alaska’s marijuana regulations. Once you can demonstrate possession of a suitable property or a lease or rental agreement, you may begin the application process.

AMCO’s marijuana licensing page contains links to electronic applications for both marijuana license renewals and new marijuana establishment licenses; this is where you’ll begin your retail marijuana license application. Once you’ve completed the initial online application, you’ll be required to submit supplemental forms, as well as provide proper public notice, including notifying your local government.

After the public notice period, AMCO will review your application and all supplemental materials. If the application is complete, AMCO will initiate the 60-day waiting period for local government protest, as well as review the application at the next regular Marijuana Control Board Meeting. If approved by the board, AMCO will conduct a premises inspection of your proposed location, and award your license if the premises meets all requirements.

The following resources will help guide you through the application process:

The application fee for a new marijuana establishment is $1,000. You’ll also pay a fingerprint fee of $48.25 for each person associated with the application. The licensing fee for a retail marijuana store is $5,000.

No, with one exception: testing facility licenses are independent of all other license types. This means that a licensed marijuana testing facility may not have any licensee, employee, or agent who holds any type of marijuana establishment license other than a testing facility license.

Alaska Dispensary Laws

Learn how to remain compliant with Alaska cannabis retail laws.

In Alaska, adults aged 21 and older may purchase marijuana from licensed retail stores.

Retail marijuana customers may purchase up to one ounce of usable marijuana, up to seven grams of marijuana concentrate for inhalation, or up to 5,600 milligrams of THC in combined marijuana and marijuana products per day.

Retail cannabis store locations must adhere to local zoning ordinances. Additionally, cannabis retail stores may not be located within 500 feet of a school ground, a recreation or youth center, a building in which religious services are regularly conducted, or a correctional facility.

Under Alaska’s state law, retail marijuana stores are permitted to conduct business between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 a.m. Local jurisdictions may impose further restrictions on retail marijuana operating hours.

Retail marijuana stores are required to post the following notices in a conspicuous location visible to customers:

  • “Consumption of marijuana in public is prohibited by law.”
  • “Transportation or carriage of marijuana or marijuana products on Alaska waterways, including cruise ships, or by air carrier is prohibited by federal law.”
  • "Transportation or shipment of marijuana or marijuana products outside the State of Alaska is prohibited by federal law.”
  • “Providing marijuana to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law.”

These notification signs must be at least 11 inches by 15 inches in size, with lettering at least one-half inch in height and in colors that contrast with the background.

Retailers must verify that customers are 21 years of age or older via valid photographic identification before selling any marijuana products. Valid forms of photo ID include an unexpired passport, driver’s license, instruction permit, or ID card from a U.S. state or territory, the District of Columbia, or a province or territory of Canada.

Cannabis Tracking, Reporting, and Inventory Control in Alaska

Every regulated cannabis market has its own tracking and reporting requirements. Find out how Alaska monitors commercial cannabis activity here.

Retailers must ensure that all marijuana product in their possession is identified and tracked from the time the store receives it through the sale, transfer, or disposal of the product.

Upon receipt, retailers are required to immediately enter identification information for the batch of marijuana or lot of marijuana product into their inventory tracking system; retailers may not accept any marijuana product that does not have a valid transport manifest generated from the inventory tracking system of the marijuana establishment that originated the delivery.

Additionally, retailers must reconcile each transaction from the marijuana store’s point-of-sale system and current inventory to its inventory tracking system at the close of business each day.

Metrc provides statewide seed-to-sale tracking and reporting in Alaska.

Retailers must use a marijuana inventory tracking system capable of sharing information with Metrc.