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Alaska credit union to end marijuana business pilot program

An Alaska credit union plans to discontinue a pilot program to provide checking and savings accounts to marijuana-related businesses, an official said.

Credit Union 1 will end the program Aug. 30 because critical insurance coverage will no longer be available, The Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

Credit Union 1 announced the program's launch in November to establish financial services for the primarily cash-operated industry.

Marijuana-related businesses cannot continue the program beyond a pilot phase without the liability coverage, said Credit Union 1 CEO James Wileman.


Marijuana is proving to be a profitable crop for Alaska

It's been nearly two years since AK Frost opened its doors as one of the licensed stores where you can legally buy marijuana in Alaska and business is booming.

"I would say it's jumped probably about 100% since we opened," said AK Frost Manager Robin Jester. "The first week, maybe 10 customers, and now we have maybe 50 customers an hour."

April 20, known as 420, one of the busiest days of the year for the shop, has just passed, but marijuana has proven to be a profitable crop in the state year-round — and not just at AK Frost.


Alaska moves closer to onsite marijuana use in certain areas

Alaska has moved closer to becoming the first in the country with statewide rules allowing onsite use of marijuana at specially authorized stores.

A memo from the state's Department of Law said it found no legal problems with the rules approved by marijuana regulators in December that will govern where and how onsite consumption could take place. The finding is a standard hurdle in the rule-making process.

The rules were recently sent to Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer for his signature and are expected to take effect 30 days after they're signed. A Department of Law spokeswoman confirmed that Meyer's signature is a formality.


Alaska marijuana revenue falls in November after increases

Alaska revenue officials say the state saw a drop in the amount of marijuana taxes owed after months of increases.

Anchorage television station KTVA reports marijuana cultivators owed the state just over $1.4 million in November, the latest month for which figures are available. That compares to $1.8 million October.

Kelly Mazzei of the Alaska Department of Revenue says the department is not sure why the figure dropped.

She says in general, the tax income line is trending upward.

The state began collecting tax revenue from marijuana cultivators in October 2017 and has collected more than $20 million.

The department reported November tax liability because some cultivators are on payment plans and not all revenue has come in.


Alaska stores sell CBD products as rules worked out

Products containing CBD have been offered in stores and coffee shops in Alaska, but state regulators say CBD oil has not been approved to be used in food, drinks or edibles.

The Anchorage Daily News reports regulations governing CBD items are still being written, and the state has been warning residents to be cautious about what they ingest.

The state Division of Agriculture oversees all industrial hemp products, which includes CBD.

Division director Arthur Keyes says the industrial hemp bill that passed earlier this year put the state in the position to create a pilot program to regulate, but rules are not yet in place.


Third cannabis retailer enters Fort St. John

Another cannabis retailer is looking to enter the market in Fort St. John.

Glory Cannabis Company is looking to open on 100 Street at the site of the former Mastaro Sushi, and Wings and Things and Good Ole Dayz. The city has issued public notice seeking comment from nearby residents and businesses until Friday, January 4.

The company has already soft launched online and on social media, and bills itself as a family-owned and operated retailer based in Fort St. John.

The company is led by city residents Sheldon James and David Tran.


Credit Union 1 rolling out banking services for Alaska cannabis businesses


Credit Union 1 in Alaska announced in a press conference earlier this week that they will launch a pilot program that will offer banking services to cannabis related businesses.

“The credit union has always had out best success when we make our own magic and go our own way to serve our members, and especially to serve those who are in need of service or who are under served, and we see the MRB industry as being in that bucket, having had no access to financial service here in the state,” Credit Union 1 President and CEO James Wileman explained during the conference.


5 of the best marijuana-friendly travel destinations (besides Colorado, obviously)

Colorado will forever be the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, but as more states and countries follow suit the possibilities for traveling with bud are blooming.

If you're itching to visit new and exciting destinations but want to do make sure that you can engage in cannabis culture while doing so, take a look through this list of marijuana-friendly travel destinations.


Growing pains: License delays, enforcement issues irritating marijuana businesses in Alaska

Two years after the state’s first cannabis entrepreneurs received their licenses, business owners are still wrestling with hangups in the regulatory system.


Second Alaska cannabis event fined over public consumption

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board penalized Alaska Hempfest for allowing public consumption at its June festival in Wasilla.

The board voted Wednesday to fine Hempfest director Niki Raapana, of Fairbanks, $10,000 with $7,500 suspended pending no future violations.

The vote was unanimous with one board member abstaining.

The fine is the second imposed on an organizer of a gathering of cannabis enthusiasts in Alaska as some call on a review of the definition of public, which is “a place to which the public or a substantial group of people has access.”


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