More marijuana moves in Alaska: Regulators set to approve retail licenses

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JUNEAU, Alaska The board regulating Alaskas fledgling legal marijuana industry is expected to approve licenses this week for the states first retail marijuana outlets.

The states Marijuana Control Board also is expected to discuss whether certain retail stores will be given permission to have areas where customers can light up a key issue since tourists and others would otherwise be prohibited from doing so in public.

Here is a look at where Alaska stands on marijuana sales:

Q: Whats happened so far?

A: Regulators have been writing rules for the industry since last year, after a voter initiative approved recreational use of marijuana by those 21 and older. The Marijuana Control Board has approved about 50 licenses for marijuana business operators so far, but no licenses have been approved yet for retail outlets.

Starting Wednesday, the board will consider dozens more license applications, including requests from people who want to open stores to sell marijuana and those who want to manufacture marijuana products.

Q: When will I be able to buy marijuana at a retail store?

A: Thats not clear.

Retail stores should open by years end, but the timing will depend in part on when stores have a supply of marijuana approved by laboratories that is legal for sale, said Cynthia Franklin, director of the state Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.

The marijuana board has focused first on licensing people to grow marijuana and the labs that will test it.

The next step is to approve the retail outlets and product manufacturers.

Q: Will Alaska allow pot cafes?

A: That is one of the biggest unanswered questions that the Marijuana Control Board has before it.

Earlier this year, it proposed allowing cannabis shops to sell marijuana for use at the shops ...

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