alaska marijuana industry association

Alaska: Feds Block Rainforest Farms From Paying Taxes

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Rainforest Farms, Juneau's first legal marijuana retailer, was turned away late last month by the U.S Postal Service when one of its owners attempted to mail a regularly scheduled tax payment to Anchorage. Anchorage is the only place in the state equipped to take cash deposits.

“Any proceeds from the selling of (marijuana) is considered drug proceeds under federal law, so you can’t mail that,” Postal inspector Aaron Behnen told the Empire from Anchorage.

Ken Alper, Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division Director, said in an interview that the state needs to find a way for “these legitimate businesspeople to pay their taxes. We thought we had done that, and this throws a tremendous wrinkle into our processes.”

Even though eight states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, cannabis businesses remain mostly locked out of the banking system.

Marijuana is still illegal federally, so any business that deals with it is in violation of federal law. The U.S. Department of Justice stated in a 2013 memo that it would not interfere with states that have legalized marijuana, but that policy could change at any time.

Alaska: Marijuana Advocates Call For Home Growers To Be Able To Legally Sell Weed

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Home cannabis growers in Alaska need a way to enter the legal marijuana market, a group of advocates said Tuesday at the first public hearing dealing with legal marijuana businesses in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

"Most of the entrepreneurs are wanting to start a small boutique-sized facility in their home," said Shuan Tacke of Fairbanks, treasurer of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, reports Amanda Bohman at the News Miner. "No one would even know that it is next door to them as they don't even know now most of the time."

Tacke was among seven people to testify before the Planning Commission on an ordinance, 2015-41, which defines which zones allow cannabis dispensaries and companies.

Under the measure, no marijuana commerce would be allowed in residential zones. The Borough Assembly will have the final vote on the measure.

The details of the measure, according to deputy planning director Kellen Spillman, are:

• Heavy industrial zones are the most permissive for marijuana commerce. Cultivation, testing, manufacturing and retail would be allowed in heavy industrial zones.

• Cannabis cultivation would be allowed in agricultural and general use districts, but large facilities would be conditional and involve public hearings.

• Retail cannabis stores would be allowed in commercial and industrial districts.

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