Are Alaska Cannabis Lounges Open?
Recreational cannabis became legal in Alaska several years back. To the excitement of many, the bill contained wording about cannabis lounges opening in the state. However, years went by and no prospective cannabis lounges had received the go-ahead to open. Fast forward to 2021 - are Alaska cannabis lounges open finally?
October 8, 2021
Few mental images are more exciting than kicking back with some friends at a marijuana lounge. Surrounded by smoke, good music, and good company, it would be nearly impossible to have a bad time. That is unless you get too high. Luckily, consumption limits should prevent this.
It’s no shock that many people are eager to be able to visit a cannabis cafe or lounge. After all, tourists visiting Alaska don’t have a home to bring their weed back to for private enjoyment. Cannabis lounges wouldn’t just be fun, they would also be convenient for visitors looking for a place to toke up.
What is a cannabis lounge?
When we talk about these lounges, your mind may jump to images of Amsterdam coffee shops, where people can watch TV, play games, and of course, smoke weed freely. The concept for Alaska cannabis lounges is similar, but not quite the same.
The concept for Alaska cannabis lounges is about allowing on-site consumption for retailers. Lounges would exist in approved Alaska dispensaries. Customers could purchase up to 10 mg of THC edibles or up to one gram of flower. Everything purchased must be consumed on sight, and no outside products may enter.
Alaska’s unique cannabis laws have made cannabis lounges possible. We can only dream of consuming marijuana in our Bellingham dispensary, Spokane pot shop, and other Washington locations. Still, the current status of Alaska cannabis lounges is a bit confusing.
Coronavirus delayed plans for Alaska cannabis lounges
In early 2020, before COVID-19 dominated the discussion, the Marijuana Control Board voted to approve two Alaska dispensaries for on-site consumption. This comes about five years after the opening of the first pot shop in Alaska.
Approval was granted in January of 2020. Less than two months later, COVID-19 was characterized as a pandemic. Not only were people concerned about smoking with coronavirus around but just about every business was affected in some way.
One lounge was able to open briefly before shutting back down, while the other postponed the opening altogether.
Lounges are slowly picking back up
All hope is not lost for cannabis cafes in Alaska. 2021 has seen the return and premiere of two cannabis lounges and even more pot shops in Alaska are working towards approval so they too can allow on-site consumption. Decked out with record players, arcade games, coloring books, and more, these lounges are designed to entertain guests as they enjoy their marijuana products in a safe environment.
State laws require ventilation systems for indoor smoking spaces and a $3,000 fee for licensing and endorsements. As mentioned earlier, they also set limits for how much marijuana a guest can consume during their visit.
Is our Anchorage dispensary open for on-site consumption?
Currently, the only open cannabis lounges are in Fairbanks and Ketchikan. This isn’t great news for our friends near our Anchorage pot shop looking for a fun place to toke.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places you can enjoy toking up in Alaska. If you are a resident, you can enjoy the herb from the comfort of your home so long as you don’t have a landlord who prohibits marijuana.
If you’re visiting from out of state, it’s more likely that you are looking for a cannabis cafe or lounge to enjoy the state’s cannabis. While you’re out of options if you aren’t located in Ketchikan or Fairbanks, plenty of tourists have a positive experience using cannabis in Alaska.
State law prohibits public consumption, so use your best judgment when partaking. Know that if you get caught publicly consuming marijuana, you may receive a citation, which is not a criminal charge. In 2019, only 10 public consumption citations were issued in Anchorage. Always avoid consuming marijuana in public and use your best judgment.
While we may not have on-site consumption for our Alaska weed store, we do have a loungey vibe. We have couches and chairs for you to relax and kick back in while you spend time in our store and we love to play music that adds to the comfortable atmosphere.
Alaska’s history of unique cannabis laws
Alaska stands out from other states with legal medical and recreational cannabis in several ways. It has a long history of challenging the norm and setting precedents for future laws.
For example, Alaska technically legalized recreational cannabis back in 1975. The Supreme Court made a unanimous decision in the case of Ravin Vs. State.
This supreme court case made Alaska the first and only state to say that there is a constitutional right to privacy that protects adult’s rights to use and possess small amounts of marijuana. The ruling was only for in-the-home, personal use.
Alaska had 15 years of legal adult-use marijuana before it was recriminalized in 1990 by Measure 2. From there, several initiatives to legalize were started and failed until we finally reached where we are today.
With this history in mind, it’s no surprise that Alaska is once again pushing the industry forward faster than other states. It’s currently one of six states that allow consumption lounges. These states were also heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic which delayed many lounges from opening.
Stock up at our Anchorage dispensary
Weed lounges or not, Alaska is a wonderful place to enjoy marijuana. From gorgeous mountain views to mesmerizing lakes, glaciers, coastal plains, and scenic railroads, you won’t ever run out of sights to enjoy. Weed can certainly elevate the experience of looking at and being in nature, and there is no shortage of breathtaking views right here in Anchorage.
Piece of Mind Cannabis is located conveniently at 221 E. 5th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska. We have a wide range of delicious edibles and high-quality flower to choose from. Stop by and say high today!