If you're a budding entrepreneur, check out our guide on how to start a marijuana business in Alaska. As a thriving medical and recreational cannabis market with unlimited license availability, Alaska has tons of business opportunities in retail, cultivation, manufacturing, and testing. Learn how to grow your cannabis business with our in-depth start-up guide.
First Things First: Secure a Location
Before you start your cannabis license application, you must first secure a location. All license applications require the address of your proposed location. In the application, you must show the right of possession to the property. If you are leasing the property, the Marijuana Control Board may be flexible on when the lease must be in effect.
Consider local zoning laws before securing a location. Alaska’s cities and boroughs may ban commercial cannabis activity within its jurisdiction. Seek out local approval before committing to a facility location. Check out the board’s cannabis municipal zoning spreadsheet listing which cities have opted out and which have adopted local control ordinances.
As part of Alaska’s Drug-Free School Zone, all marijuana facilities must be at least 500 feet away from the following establishments:
- Youth or recreation center
- Building where religious services are held
- Correctional facility
Are you Eligible to Open a Marijuana Business?
If you want to open a marijuana business in Alaska, you must meet certain requirements.
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- Must reside in Alaska
- Must not have any disqualifying offense
- Conviction of a felony
- Conviction of selling alcohol in violation of the state law
- Misdemeanor involving controlled substance, violence against a person, use of a weapon, or dishonesty within the preceding five years
- Misdemeanor relating to the distribution or sale of cannabis within two years prior to submitting an application
How Many Licenses Can You Own?
Alaska allows you to own more than one cannabis license. However, there is one exception. Licensed cannabis testing facilities are not allowed to have any licensee, employee, or agent who holds any type of cannabis establishment license other than a testing license.
The Marijuana Control Board does not limit the number of cannabis licenses it can issue. However, local governments can place a cap on the number of cannabis licenses issued within their jurisdiction.
How to Apply for a Marijuana License
Cannabis license applications are accepted year-round. Applications are reviewed at the Marijuana Control Board's regularly scheduled meetings throughout the year. Before applying for your license, read through the state regulations and work on your operating plan, which is required along with your application.
All cannabis license applications must begin online. State regulations require applicants to show their capability to enter and submit data documents electronically. Why? All licensees are required to use the statewide cannabis inventory tracking system (Metrc), which is electronic and requires a stable internet connection and basic computer literacy.
Before you begin your application, you must have a current state business license number. Here's a step-by-step guide on the application approval process.
- Visit the state’s Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office website to start your application.
- Initiate the application, list your proposed location and all partners, members, officers, and shareholders, and select your business type:
- Retail marijuana store
- Standard cultivation facility
- Limited cultivation facility
- Marijuana product manufacturing facility
- Marijuana concentrate manufacturing facility
- Testing facility
- Once complete, the system will automatically generate three documents for you including your cover sheet, public notice, and advertising notice.
- Post a copy of your public notice for 10 days at your proposed location and at a conspicuous nearby location such as a post office or grocery store bulletin board
- Send a copy of your public notice to your local government
- Place an advertisement notifying the public of your intent to open a cannabis establishment in a newspaper of general circulation in the area you intend to operate once per week for 3 consecutive weeks
- Complete the supplemental forms specific to your license type
- Submit fingerprint cards for each person listed in your application
- Submit payment in person or by mail
- If your application is deemed complete, it will be sent to your local government who will have up to 60 days to protest the decision. If it's not complete, it will be sent back to you for completion.
- Within 90 days after the application is deemed complete, it will be considered by the board at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
- After it's approved, the board will conduct a premises inspection and deliver your license.
Application, Admin, License, & Renewal Fees
Application and Admin Fees
New application fee – $1,000
Transfer application fee – $1,000
Renewal application fee – $600
Fingerprint fee – $48.25 (per person)
Business name change – $250
Licensed premises diagram change fee – $250
Operating plan change fee – $250
Proposed new marijuana products fee – $250 (per product)
Ownership change fee – $250
Conversion application fee – $1,000
On-site consumption endorsement application fee – $1,000
On-site consumption endorsement fee – $2,000
Standard marijuana cultivation facility – $5,000
Limited marijuana cultivation facility – $1,000
Marijuana product manufacturing facility – $5,000
Marijuana concentrate manufacturing facility – $1,000
Marijuana testing manufacturing facility – $1,000
Retail marijuana store – $5,000
Limited marijuana cultivation facility – $1,400
Marijuana concentrate manufacturing facility – $2,000
Marijuana testing facility – $5,000
Standard marijuana cultivation facility – $7,000
Marijuana product manufacturing facility – $7,000
Retail marijuana store – $7,000
There are many ways to finance your cannabis business. Consider federal and state securities laws and regulations before offering securities to any cannabis business investors. In most cases, you won't be allowed to advertise in print and electronic media (including your own website, Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist) to find investors.
Cannabis Business Certification
Get your start in Alaska's medical and recreational weed industry by enrolling in Cannabis Training University’s industry certification program. Learn the latest business regulations of every state including the program type, license availability, application link, and licensing fees.
In addition, learn about every major segment in the industry including cannabis cultivation, cannabis extraction, cannabis cooking, cannabis as medicine, and so much more. Our complete curriculum gives you a well-rounded education to excel in the industry.
As the most renowned cannabis college in the world, CTU has industry attorneys on staff to maintain the state-specific regulations and course content up-to-date. Don't wait any longer to start your cannabis dream. Enroll in Cannabis Training University today!