First Alaska retail pot shops get OK to allow on-site use

JUNEAU, Alaska — The first marijuana shops in Alaska where customers can partake on-site have gotten approval, putting them on the leading edge nationally.

Visions for the spaces range from a living room feel to a brewery-style tasting room with a TV to watch football games.

Zoning and ventilation requirements and restrictions on smoking can limit the growth of so-called cannabis lounges or cafes in places that permit them, such as some cities in California, said Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Association.

“I don’t see it being something that starts proliferating heavily. But it’s definitely something that should exist, and there should be options for social consumption, particularly because public consumption is still illegal,” he said late last week.

The state’s Marijuana Control Board voted 3-2 late last week to allow Cannabis Corner, outside of Ketchikan, and GoodSinse in Fairbanks to offer on-site use.

Both businesses plan to let customers smoke or consume edibles.

Daniel Peters, a co-owner of GoodSinse, expects to be open by summer and earlier if possible. He envisions the setup of their on-site area as similar to a brewery tasting room, with large couches, a long table, a TV for watching Sunday football games and a “show grow,” where people can see part of the cultivation operation on the premises.

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